Don Vieth, Director of Athletics Communications
HAYS, Kan. – Seven unanswered points by Fort Hays State in the final minutes were the difference as Northeastern State’s season will come to an end on Monday with a 61-53 loss in the opening round of the MIAA Tournament.
Tanner Mouse led the RiverHawks with 14 points but the team cooled during the stretch run going 0-for-8 from the arc in the final 20 minutes, and shooting 33.3-percent (9-27) from the field.
Fort Hays State led for over 35 minutes but the RiverHawks were in striking distance for the majority of the contest and within two possessions. The Tigers’ largest lead of nine points came with NSU fouling and putting Fort Hays State at the line in hopes of extending the contest.
Despite this being a 5 vs. 12 seeding matchup, all three contests between two programs this season were down to the wire and settled in the final two minutes.
Shooting proved the be the difference on Monday night with Fort Hays State going 42.6-percent (20-47), and edging NSU who was 37-percent (20-54) on the other side of the floor. The Tigers out-rebounded NSU by 13 with 42 total boards but second chance points were limited to a 11-7 advantage toward FSHU. Braxton Williams had seven as NSU’s team high on his final night on the floor and scoring five points.
Mouse highlighted the RiverHawks first half with a pair of treys and a bucket for eight of NSU’s 30 points. Northeastern State kept the Tigers silent for nearly two minutes near to the halftime horn and trimmed a small 29-24 FHSU lead into a 6-0 run to take their fifth lead of the half with 36 seconds left. Following a 30 second time out called by the Tigers’ bench they took some of the NSU momentum on a three pointer before the horn to take a 32-30 lead at the half.
The second half ran similar to the first 20 minutes with the RiverHawks right on the Tigers’ tail. Northeastern State took the lead 44-42 at the 8:08 mark in what would be their final one of the night on a 7-0 run. The scoring became limited for NSU and they connected on only three buckets the rest of the way.
Mouse was NSU’s lone player in double-figures, with Cameron Martin next with nine, and Karon Waller adding eight.
Four of the five Fort Hays State (18-11) starters were in double-figures with Hadley Gillum scoring 21 as a game high.
Northeastern State concludes their season with a 5-23 record.