Kansas State basketball gets shocked by Division 2 FHSU

Kansas State basketball was shocked by Division 2 Fort Hays State Tigers on Tuesday. The Wildcats lost to FHSU 81-68.

This was a pivotal win for the Tigers but a terrible loss for the Wildcats. This was the first time in while a power conference team lost to a Division 2 team. The last time it happened was 20 years ago when Corpus Christi beat Texas Tech.

This game was the 84th meeting between the Tigers and Wildcats. The Tigers obviously had KSU’s number even without its coaches.

FHSU’s head coach and assistant coach were out because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Reasons for Tigers win

There are many reasons why the FHSU Tigers got their first win. FHSU’s Jared Vitztum performed well and had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kaleb Hammeke added 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Bjarni Jonsson was also a pivotal player for the Tigers. He was 5 of 8 from the field and scored 12 points. Many players in the FHSU lineup contributed to their win. Clearly the Tigers were very thirsty to get their first win and did not care who they were playing.

The Tigers were able to penetrate inside, make layups and shoot well from three-point range. The Tigers were a much better basketball team in the second half of the game.

With 9:32 left in the game, the Tigers were able to push and get ahead of the Wildcats by 16 points. The Tigers never trailed and led 71-50 after Hammeke hit a 3-pointer with 7:07 to play.

Reasons for Wildcats loss

There are many reasons why the Wildcats lost this game. Mike McGuirl and Dajuan Gordon were the top scorers for the Wildcats. Gordon had only 11 points, while McGuirl had 22. McGuirl played better in this game, but it just was not enough.

Rudi Williams and Selton Miguel were able to make a few points off the bench. Williams had eight points, and Miguel had 10. This was not enough for the Wildcats to win.

Kansas State just could not get a rhythm together, as it was trailing the whole game. The Wildcats were not playing with any sense of urgency.

McGuirl did step in his role as the only senior and tried to get some points. However, the rest of his teammates could not get anything going.

How the Wildcats can improve

The Wildcats can improve on many things to win more games. The first thing the Wildcats need to establish is getting in the paint. They need to make sure that these defenses do not close them out. They need to be more aggressive.

Also the Wildcats needs to improve on their shooting game. McGuirl shot a good game, but his teammates did not. McGuirl being the only senior needs to motivate his team more. KSU head couch Bruce Webber can’t do it by himself.

Other players on the team need to step up and play better. It’s easy for a team to get discouraged trailing the whole game. K-State does have a young team, but that is not an excuse.

K-State needs to practice more and find a rhythm so they can get back to winning games.

What’s next for the Wildcats?

Kansas State basketball hosts its next game against the Milwaukee Panthers on Friday, Dec 11 in a game the Wildcats are projected to win.

Photo courtesy of KStateSports.com