Fort Hays State passed its first difficult test on the road this week Thursday night with a 77-75 win at Pittsburg State. The Tigers now prepare for another big conference matchup with Missouri Southern on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 3:30 pm in Joplin. FHSU enters at 14-7 overall, 8-4 in the MIAA, while MSSU is 18-5 overall, 9-4 in the MIAA.
This will be a battle between fourth and fifth place teams in the conference standings, but both are breathing down the necks of Washburn and Lincoln, which sit in a tie for second. Washburn and Lincoln are both 9-3 entering Saturday, while MSSU is a half game back at 9-4, and FHSU is one game back at 8-4. This will be the first meeting between FHSU and MSSU this year. The teams will meet again in Hays on February 28.
Brady Werth gave FHSU his third double-double performance of the season on Thursday night in the win at Pittsburg State, finishing with 25 points and 13 rebounds. He dominated in the post, scoring 24 of his 25 points on a career-high 12 field goals. Trey O’Neil added 12 points, all on three-point field goals, and Aaron Nicholson provided the game-winning shot to finish with 11 points.
Missouri Southern is coming off a 72-67 win over Nebraska-Kearney on Thursday night in Joplin. Sophomore Cam Martin averages 21.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game to lead the Lions.
Fort Hays State won the last two meetings with Missouri Southern, both occurring last season with a win in Hays and a win at the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City. In 2016-17, Missouri Southern won both meetings with FHSU, claiming a win in Joplin and then a win at the MIAA Tournament. The Tigers have won six of the last eight meetings overall in the series.