RSU Women Slip Past No. 25 Southern Nazarene, 63-62
Rogers State started hot and hung on late for a huge road win against No. 25 Southern Nazarene at the Sawyer Center in Bethany Okla.
The Hillcats came up with two defensive stops in the final minute to record the 63-62 victory and sweep the season series from the Crimson Storm.
RSU built a 12 point lead early in the second half before SNU’s Logan Martin went to work. Martin score 10 straight points for the Storm and tied the game at 59-59 on a driving layup with 2:35 remaining.
Jenny Hardin answered with a bucket in the paint to regain the lead, but Lana Keith retied the score with a jumper on the next SNU possession. Candice Stewart converted a layup on a nice feed from Hardin and RSU led 63-61 with 1:20 left. Martin hit one of two free throws and then came up with a steal to give SNU an opportunity to take the final shot.
The Cats tenacious defense forced sophomore Audra Skimbo to take a long 3-point attempt as time expired. It clanged off the side of the rim and RSU escaped with its second win of the season over the ranked Storm.
The Hillcats came out firing on all cylinders in the first half. RSU rebounded from a tough shooting effort against Oklahoma Baptist by torching the nets for six treys in the first half. Autumn Thompson gave the Cats a 27-26 advantage with a long three at the five minute mark of the first half. Brittani Smith beat the halftime buzzer and RSU maintained a one point lead at the break.
The Hillcats opened up a 12 point lead midway through the second period. Kali Bassett knocked down a three from the corner and Logan Froese capped a 13-2 run with a baseline jumper. Martin brought SNU all the way back with 13 second half points, but it wasn’t enough. She finished with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds.
RSU could have put the game away without the dramatics, but hit only 4 of 11 free throws in the second half. Stewart led RSU with 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting while Hardin added 11. Thompson and Bassett drained two treys apiece.
Rogers State (14-4, 6-4) moved into sole possession of fifth place in the Sooner Athletic Conference standings with the victory. The Hillcats will return home to face USAO Saturday afternoon at the Claremore Expo. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the first 250 fans will receive a free Hillcat message fan courtesy of the RSU athletic department.