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Lehman's triple-double leads Tiger women to win

By CONOR NICHOLL
cnicholl@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University junior center Kate Lehman already owns the MIAA record for single season and career blocks.

Lehman has recorded nine blocks in a contest three times and narrowly missed a triple-double on a few occasions.

On Dec. 7, Lehman collected 24 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks in a road win versus Missouri Western State University. Coach Tony Hobson said Lehman should have been credited for 10 blocks.

“She kind of got robbed,” Hobson said.

On Thursday, Lehman made history in a 99-76 win against Lindenwood (Mo.) University at Gross Memorial Coliseum. Lehman finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks in 24 minutes, the second triple-double in Tiger women’s basketball history.

She nearly fell short again, but some help by the FHSU coaching staff and sports information department helped Lehman achieve the mark. The Tigers also set a school record for most points in an MIAA contest.

“It’s just a nice thing for Kate, because she is one of our hardest workers and one of our more consistent players,” Hobson said.

Amy Scoby recorded the first triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against New Mexico Highlands on Jan. 7, 1995. Lehman called the triple-double her second-best achievement behind the career blocks mark earlier this season. Hobson said it was the first triple-double he had seen in person.
Lehman labeled the record “cool.”

“But I like to do it for the game, not really for the record,” Lehman said. “And for my teammates.”

Lehman subbed out of the contest with 3 minutes, 15 seconds left and the Tigers ahead by 20. However, the FHSU SID staff told assistant coach Talia Miller that
Lehman was one block short of a triple-double. Hobson subbed Lehman back in at the 2:42 mark.

“If it would have been points, I don’t know if I would have put her back in, but since it was blocks, you don’t get a chance to get double figure blocks very often,” Hobson said.

“I asked Coach Talia how close I was, and she said I was one away, so Hobson put me back in, and let me get it,” Lehman added.

At 2:30, the 6-foot-4 Lehman blocked a jumper from 5-4 sophomore guard Jenny Rocha. Lehman subbed out of the game 10 seconds later as public address announcer Ken Windholz announced the mark to applause.

“Ten blocks is hard to get,” Lehman said. “I am usually pretty happy with the five, six range. Ten is kind of awesome.”

Lehman received congratulations from her teammates and met Hobson last.
Afterward, Lehman had multiple platitudes from friends and fans.

“He said that he was proud of me, and that it was a good accomplishment,” Lehman said.

Fort Hays, receiving votes nationally, moved to 10-2, 4-2 MIAA. The Lions dropped to 8-6, 3-4 MIAA. Four players scored in double figures, including a game-high 25 from sophomore Chelsea Mason. FHSU led all game, held a 46-31 halftime lead and led by double figures all second half.

“Our bench has been playing excellent,” Hobson said.

Lehman recorded her ninth straight double-double, but had her fewest points in that stretch. She has 26 double-doubles in her career, most in the Tigers’ NCAA Division II era that started in 1991-92. At halftime, Lehman had two points,
seven rebounds and six blocks.

“The way they were playing her and sagging down, I didn’t know if she would get double figure points tonight,” Hobson said. “They were just taking it away from her. There is a reason why our other kids were getting some real open looks.”

Lindenwood, paced by 20 points from freshman Kassidy Gengenbacher, challenged Lehman — the national leader in blocks the last two years — often. She blocked two shots in the first 2:08 and later recorded two more in a seven-second stretch.

“That’s what a lot of teams do,” Lehman said of opponents going inside. “Sometimes I get the block, sometimes I don’t. I like it when they challenge me, because I usually win – that sounds kind of cocky, but I don’t mean it like that.”

In the second half, Lehman had just six points with just 8:42 left, but then tallied five points in 75 seconds to collect double figures. She was going to come up short before the substitution in the final minutes. FHSU will play host to Lincoln (Mo.) University on Saturday afternoon.

“That’s pretty impressive,” Hobson said.

Fort Hays 99, Lindenwood 76
LINDENWOOD (8-6, 3-4)
Kassidy Gengenbacher 5-9 9-10 20, Carolina Bourlioux 5-13 3-4 13, Julie Hilnak 7-11 0-0 18, Rocha 3-8 1-6 7, Haertling 1-5 0-0 2, Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Zanders 4-9 0-0 8, Lehning 2-6 0-0 4, Bluemner 1-2 0-0 3, Keller 0-0 1-2 1. Totals — 28-65 14-22 76.
FORT HAYS (10-2, 4-2)
Chelsea Mason 9-19 4-7 25, Katelyn Edwards 7-10 2-3 16, Kate Lehman 4-6 5-6 13, Jill Faxon 3-7 2-4 10, Chandler 3-8 0-0 8, Bohuslavsky 2-4 1-2 5, Ingalsbe 2-2 4-4 8, Kacperska 2-5 2-2 7, Palmer 1-1 0-0 3, Shaw 1-1 0-0 2, Lunsford 1-3 0-0- 2. Totals — 35-66 20-28 99.
Lindenwood    31 45 — 76
Fort Hays    46 53 — 99
3-point goals — LU 6-12 (Gengenbacher 1-1, Rocha 0-1, Haertling 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Hilnak 4-5, Bluemner 1-2); FH 9-18 (Mason 3-7, Chadler 2-4, Bohuslavsky 0-1, Faxon 2-2, Kacperska 1-1, Palmer 1-1, Lunsford 0-2). Assists — LU 17 (Bourlioux 5); FH 24 (Bohuslavsky 5). Steals — LU 9 (Gengenbacher 4); FH 7 (Bohuslavsky 3). Blocks — LU 3 (Zanders 3); FH 12 (Lehman 10). Total fouls — LU 19, FH 16. Fouled out — Zanders, LU. Technical fouls — none.
Rebounds — LU 37 (Hilnak 8); FH 38 (Lehman 12). Turnovers — LU 17, FH 13. A — 1,563.