Fort Hays State led from start to finish and extended Northeastern State’s winless streak to four games Friday in Hays, Kansas.
The Tigers received a game-high 20 points from Jaden Hobbs, and Whitney Randall added 18 in an 80-60 Win.
It was NSU’s first game in 12 days and the third straight away from the NSU Event Center.
The RiverHawks, now 2-4 in MIAA play under head coach Fala Bullock, got a team-high 18 points from senior guard Cenia Hayes.
Fort Hays State got off to a fast start, scoring the game’s first 11 points, and never looked back. Sydney Golladay started the run with a 3-pointer, Olivia Hollenbeck followed with a basket and a free throw, and Hobbs buried a 3 to spark the Tigers.
Northeastern State cut into the Tigers’ lead in the second quarter, getting to within six points after Maegan Lee canned a 3-pointer that made it 23-17 at the 8:21 mark, but Fort Hays State took control again after an 11-3 run and extended its lead to 34-20 following a pair of Emma Ruddle free throws.
Tess Talo-Tomokino got NSU back to within eight points (38-30) on a jumper at the 7:44 point of the third quarter, but it was as close as the RiverHawks would get the remainder of the way.
The Tigers responded by outscoring NSU 21-12 over the next six-plus minutes. They were propelled by seven points apiece from Cydney Bergmann, Hobbs and Randall.
The RiverHawks were limited to 36.8 percent shooting, while Fort Hays State shot 53.3 percent. The Tigers had 26 fastbreak points to NSU’s zero, and outrebounded the RiverHawks, 36-30. Both teams were 7 of 21 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Zaria Collins made her return for NSU and followed Hayes with 16 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. Collins, who shot 7 of 16 overall, hadn’t played since Nov. 21 in NSU’s last win - an 82-74 victory over Missouri Western at the NSU Event Center.
Hayes connected on six of her 11 attempts and went 3 for 5 from 3-point territory. Hayes was coming off a 22-point performance against Pittsburg State after combing for 18 in her previous two outings.
Maegan Lee was also in double figures for the RiverHawks with 10 points.
Bergmann closed with 15 points for Fort Hays State, who stays unbeaten at 4-0.
The RiverHawks will resume play Sunday when they visit Nebraska-Kearney in a 1 p.m. tipoff. Nebraska-Kearney (4-0) defeated Central Oklahoma, 63-43, in its last outing on Dec. 12 in Edmond.