HAYS — With standout point guard Craig Nicholson going down with a foot injury in the first half, Fort Hays State turned to freshman backup Kyler Kinnamon of McPherson.
All Kinnamon did was score 18 points, but the Tigers came up short against rival Washburn, 86-82.
Kinnamon, who wound up playing a career-high 31 minutes, made 6 of 9 floor shots and 4 of 5 free throws. He was 2 of 3 from 3-point.
He also dished off for a couple of assists and came up with a steal.
“I’ve been working hard, Craig’s been teaching me a lot in practice every day and I felt like I was ready to go out there,” Kinnamon told The Hays Daily News. “Seeing him go down was tough, but we’ve just gotta move on and keep playing. It’s nothing I didn’t feel like I wasn’t prepared for. Obviously, I had a few slip-ups, but that’s gonna happen, just gotta keep working on it.”
Fort Hays was up 47-40 at the half, but the Tigers went cold in the second half as the Ichabods stormed back.
It was Fort Hays’ first loss of the year after five wins.