ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The No. 7/3 Fort Hays State women's basketball team dominated early and late in a 67-54 win over Concordia-St. Paul Saturday (Nov. 9) The Tigers move to 2-0 to start the year for the fifth-consecutive year, while the Golden Bears finish the opening weekend 1-1.

Kacey Kennett led the team with 20 points in the win, including a pair of free throws with 8:05 to play that gave the Tigers the lead for good. The shots did more than that, however, as the first make gave the senior 1,000 points for her career. Kennett now sits at 1,004 career points, becoming the 21st player in program history to reach that threshold.

Lanie Page opened the game with a 3-pointer for the second time in as many days, propelling the Tigers to an early 9-2 lead. Concordia-St. Paul scored 10 of the next 12 points to take a 12-11 lead later in the quarter, handing the Tigers their first deficit of the season. FHSU responded by scoring the final 11 points of the quarter, holding CSP scoreless for the final 2:53 of game action.

Whitney Randall opened the run with a made jumper off a pass from Taylor Rolfs before Page made a put-back layup following an offensive rebound. The Wamego, Kan. senior tallied two more points at the charity stripe before Randall finished off the quarter with five points in less than a minute. Both Randall and Page scored seven points in the opening 10 minutes of action.

After knocking down 45 percent (9-of-20) from the floor in the opening quarter, FHSU went cold from the floor over the next 10 minutes. The Tigers made just one field goal in the second stanza on their final shot of the quarter, finishing 1-for-13 (7.7 percent). FHSU was able to maintain a halftime lead thanks to a 7-for-8 effort from the free-throw line. The Golden Bears mounted a rally thanks to five made 3-pointers in the frame (5-of-8, 62.5 percent).

Fort Hays State built the lead back up to nine midway through the third quarter thanks to six more points from Kennett, but another ice cold stretch from the Tigers allowed CSP back into the game. The Golden Bears closed the period on a 12-2 run, including a buzzer-beating layup to take a 46-45 lead into the final frame.

Kennett buried a 3-pointer early in the fourth to put the Tigers back on top before CSP answered right back with a triple of their own. Fort Hays State responded with a ferocious finish to the contest, using 19-2 run over the next seven minutes to seal the victory. The Tigers shot 6-of-9 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line over that stretch while forcing eight turnovers and making six steals on defense.

Kennett swiped an astounding five steals in the final quarter to help the Tigers take back control. She finished the game by matching her career-best with seven steals, becoming the first Tiger with at least seven steals in a game since December 2017 (Kennett, 7 steals vs. Midland, 12/19/17). The Olathe, Kan. senior also matched her career-high with a team-best five asssits.

After setting a new career-best with 14 rebounds Friday, Belle Barbieri eclipsed that mark with 16 boards in Saturday's win. She added 13 points to record the eighth double-double of her career.

Page added 13 points, including a 6-for-6 effort from the charity stripe. Taylor Rolfs totaled six points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals. Jaden Hobbs totaled eight points, three assists and one steal, including six points in the final quarter to help the Tigers reestablish the lead.

Fort Hays State finished the game with a 35.4 percent (23-of-65) effort from the floor, just above CSP's shooting percentage of 33.3 percent (18-of-54). The Tigers took care of the ball much better than they did on Friday, turning the ball over just 12 times. The defense was busy for the second day in a row, forcing 20 Golden Bear turnovers thanks in part to 12 steals. FHSU held a 45-38 edge in rebounding, including a 16-8 margin on the offensive glass.

The Tigers return to Hays next weekend to host a pair of non-conference opponents. FHSU makes its home debut against Adams State on Friday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. before hosting Cameron at 5 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 16). Additionally, Nebraska-Kearney will take on the opposite teams two hours prior to FHSU's first tip.