RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Fort Hays State limited Southwestern Oklahoma State to just 29.8 percent shooting from the field to grind out a low-scoring battle on Saturday (Nov. 9) by a score of 58-53. The Tigers moved to 2-0 on the season after a 10-point win over Arkansas Tech the night before. The Bulldogs moved to 1-1 overall.
The Tigers built a 27-20 lead by halftime, limiting the Bulldogs to just nine points in the first 10 minutes and 11 in the next 10 minutes. Calvin Harrington provided a third of the team's scoring in the opening half with nine points, canning a pair of three-point field goals and adding an old-fashioned three-point play. Jake Hutchings made a one-point lead seven in the final minute of the half with a three-point play and three-point field goal. Fort Hays State's largest lead in the half was eight when it led 11-3.
Southwestern Oklahoma opened the second half on a 10-2 run to take a 30-29 lead, but that was the only advantage it enjoyed in the second half. SWOSU tied the game twice before FHSU took the lead for good on a Hutchings layup with 9:10 remaining. That bucket triggered an 11-2 run by the Tigers to lead by nine, their largest advantage of the game. The margin reached nine one more time on a Jared Vitztum 3-point field goal with 4:15 to play, but SWOSU trimmed the lead back down to three with just 1:15 on the clock.
Southwestern Oklahoma had one possession with a chance to tie or pull within one, but missed two chances. Aaron Nicholson closed out the game for FHSU from that point, hitting all four of his free throws inside the final 23 seconds. Nicholson was 8-of-8 at the charity stripe in the game for all eight of his points.
Vitztum led the way for FHSU with 15 points, shooting 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 at the free-throw line. He was 2-of-2 beyond the 3-point line. Harrington finished with 12 points, canning three shots beyond the 3-point line, while Hutchings added 11. FHSU shot 38.3 percent as a team, but made up for it with a 94.1 percent effort at the free-throw line (16-of-17).
Damion Thornton led the Bulldog scoring effort with 14 points, while Marquis Johnson added 10.
Fort Hays State heads to Colorado next weekend for another pair of games. FHSU takes on Colorado School of Mines on Saturday (Nov. 16) before facing UC-Colorado Springs on Sunday (Nov. 17).