By GERARD WELLBROCK
The Fort Hays State Tigers built a 16-point first half lead then had to hold on for a 78-75 win over Pittsburg State Saturday afternoon at John Lance Arena in Pittsburg. The victory is the Tigers eighth straight and improves them to 16-3 overall and 7-3 in the MIAA. The Gorillas have now lost four straight and are 6-10 and 2-7 in the MIAA.
The Tigers went on a 19-4 first half run to go up 27-12 and pushed it as high as 16 before Pitt State cut it to eight at the half. The Gorillas hit seven of their first nine 3-point shots in the second half. The game was tied 71-71 when Craig Nicholson hit a 3-pointer with 2:29 to play. Nicholson would hit four free throws in the final 30-seconds to keep the lead at three.
Pitt State had a chance to tie but Devon Branch’s 3-pointer rimmed off at the horn.
The Tigers shoot just 39-percent for the game and only 62,5-percent from the foul line but outrebound the Gorillas by seven.
Carson Konrade led the Tigers with 17 points, all in the second half. Nicholson and James Fleming both score 15 and Jake Stoppel added 10 points and a season-high 11 rebounds.
Devon Branch led Pitt State with 20.
Mark Johnson Postgame Interview