EMPORIA (KSNT) – The Hornets debuted their new uniforms, and gave fans a warm welcome to White Auditorium.

Emporia State beat Rockhurst, 66-64, Wednesday. The Hornets raced out to a 14-4 lead early, but had to battle back in the second half.

ESU opened the game with an alley oop dunk from Kaden Evans to Peyton Rogers-Schmidt. The Hornets’ first 12 points all came in the paint.

ESU led 14-4 with 14:08 left in the first half when the Hawks went on a 9-2 run to get within three points. The Hornets had a 28-25 lead with 2:10 left in the first half, but Rockhurst finished the half on an 8-2 run and took a 33-30 lead to the half.

Rockhurst made two free throws to extend the lead to 42-36 to open the second half. Emporia State responded with a 12-2 run. After missing the first nine three-point attempts, Evans finally made a 3-pointer to pull the Hornets within one with 12:53 left. Mayoum Buom capped the run with a put back to take a 48-44 lead. Rockhurst scored the next five points, and they took a 49-48 lead. It was the last lead of the game for Rockhurst. 

Atavian Butler scored inside to give ESU a 50-49 lead and ignite a 7-0 run.

Alijah Comithier led the Hornets with 20 points. Buom added 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Evans filled up the stat sheet with nine points, nine assists, seven rebounds and two blocks.

Next, the Hornets play William Jewell on Friday.