During the previous seven seasons, Holloway’s Buffs have struggled mightily against the Indians, winning just one game of the last 14 times they’ve met. Friday night in Garden City, it was impressive 3-point shooting that sank the Buffaloes, this time an 82-53 runaway by the Indians that left no doubt that they are the team to beat in the Western Athletic Conference. Both teams came in confident with a 2-0 record in WAC, but the Indians were just to much for the Buffs.
The Indians strong defense caused 19 turnovers against the Buffs, many of which led to quick transition 3-pointers. Tragdon McCrae led the Indians with a career-high 36 points. His nine (9) threes tied the school record. After one quarter, it was 25-20 Hays, and the Indians had already made seven shots behind the arc. Hays made six more threes in the second quarter and outscored the Buffs 22-11 and went in with a 47-31 halftime advantage. The Indians also outscored the Buffs 20-13 in the third and went into the fourth with a 67-44 lead.
Jayden Crook led the Buffs with 10 points, Demarcus Elliot also had 10 points. The Buffs finished hitting 20-of-54 shots for 37 percent, far below what Holloway said would be necessary to combat the Indians’ good shooting. The Buffs held a narrow 33-32 edge in rebounds, with Jarrod Springston topping the effort with seven boards.
The Buffs will now prepare for their annual trek to the Valley Center January Jam, where they will open the tournament on Thursday with a 2:07 tip-off against Topeka Seaman. They are now 2-1 in the WAC and 6-3 overall.