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Blue Tigers head to post-season on sour note

FORT HAYS, Kan. — The Lincoln Blue Tigers head into the postseason on a sour note.

The Lincoln women closed their regular season with a 91-66 loss to Fort Hays State on Friday night.

The Blue Tigers (11-15, 6-12 MIAA) will finish either 11th or 12th in the conference standings, depending on how Southwest Baptist fares today at Missouri Western.

Lincoln will travel to play at either Truman State, Emporia State, Fort Hays State or Pittsburg State in a MIAA Tournament first-round game Tuesday.

Fort Hays State jumped out to an 11-3 lead Friday night and never looked back. Lincoln never got closer than six points as the Tigers opened up a 45-25 edge at halftime.

Fort Hays State didn’t let up in the second half, leading by as many as 32 points at 80-48 with 5:55 left in the game on a pair of free throws from Taylor Chandler.

Lincoln lost the rebounding battle 45-29 and allowed the Tigers to hit 9-of-20 attempts from 3-point range.

Arriana Walker was the only Blue Tigers in double figures with 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting. She also dished out six assists.

Kate Lehman tallied 21 points to lead Fort Hays State, hitting 9-of-14 from the field. She added a game-high 12 rebounds. Traci Keyser tossed in 14 points, Chandler added 12 and Melissa Nelson had 10.

Fort Hays State closes out the regular season at 20-6 overall and 12-6 in the MIAA.

III

The Lincoln men saw a tough season come to a close.

The Blue Tigers finished the year with an 87-53 loss to Fort Hays State on Friday night, ending the year at 3-25 overall and 2-16 in the MIAA.

Lincoln led 9-5 in the opening minutes, but after a tie a 11, Fort Hays State scored 11 straight points to pull away. The Blue Tigers scored a basket to get within 22-13, but Fort Hays State held a double-digit lead the remainder of the contest.

The Tigers held a 40-25 advantage at halftime. Their biggest lead was 82-43 on a jumper from Lance Russell with 5:21 to play.

Lincoln shot just 36 percent from the floor (21-of-59) and hit only 4-of-22 attempts from 3-point range. Fort Hays State, on the other hand, shot a sizzling 58 percent (33-for-57) overall and 52 percent (12-for-23) from beyond the arc. Lincoln also was outrebounded 44-19.

Cedric Ridle Jr. finished his Blue Tiger career with 26 points on 11-for-22 shooting. He was the only Lincoln player in double figures.

Craig Nicholson led four Tigers in double figures with 23 points. Carson Konrade added 15 points, Russell had 14 and Dwyane Brunson had 12.

Fort Hays State closes the regular season at 19-7 overall and 13-5 in the MIAA.

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