Hillcats Tame Mustangs, 90-66
CLAREMORE, Okla.- The Rogers State men’s basketball team opened the season with a 90-66 victory over Central Baptist (Ark.) on Tuesday night at the Claremore Expo.
The opening half was a seesaw battle with five lead changes and two ties. The Hillcats owned the largest lead of the first half with 4:40 to play as Ken Holdman capped a 5-0 run with a layup to give RSU a seven point lead. CBC chipped away at the deficit and cut RSU’s lead to 37-35 at the break.
Sophomore Armando Everette knotted the score just after halftime with a layup but the Mustangs would not stay within striking distance for much longer. RSU outscored CBC 16-3 over the first five minutes of the second stanza. Donald Williams sparked the run with a three-pointer from the corner. The streak was capped off by a Williams’ steal and a Kendrell Thompson layup to give the Hillcats a 53-38 advantage. The Hillcats held a double-digit lead the rest of the way, ending the game with their largest lead of 24 points.
Williams poured in 22 points while fellow senior Justynn Hammond scored 19 and Thompson added 16. Holdman rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points in his debut.
The Mustangs grabbed the advantage on the boards, 36-33 with Spencer Caraway bringing in 11 rebounds to go with his team-high 17 points. CBC tallied 26 turnovers while the Hillcats registered 14 steals, led by Holdman with five nabs. RSU took care of the basketball in the season opener with just 10 turnovers. In previous season openers the Hillcats have averaged 18.2 turnovers per game.
Rogers State (1-0) returns to action on Tuesday Nov. 6 as the Hillcats host Southwestern Christian (Okla.) at 8 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live and on RSU Radio 91.3 FM.