TAHLEQUAH – Host Northeastern State scored the first 17 points of the game and never looked back in a 79-66 win over the Rogers State women's basketball team on Wednesday at the NSU Event Center. The loss was RSU's first of the season as the Hillcats dropped to 2-1 on the season.
NSU (2-1) poured on the first 17 points of the game in the opening seven and a half minutes for a 17-0 advantage with 2:33 left in the first period. The RiverHawks totaled six layups during the early spurt and added their other five points on free throws.
Darian Jackson put the first points on the board for the Hillcats with a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 17-3 score with 2:22 remaining in the quarter. After the first 10 minutes, NSU held a 19-5 lead on RSU.
The Hillcats shot only 1-15 (6.7 percent) in the first period with the RiverHawks going 7-14 (50 percent) from the field.
NSU pulled out to its largest lead of the half in the second period with a 3-pointer at the 2:39 mark to make it 38-14. The RiverHawks went into the half with a 41-19 lead as a Nikola Nedoroscikova's 3-pointer rimmed out at the halftime buzzer.
In the first half, RSU shot 21.9 percent (7-32) from the field and only 2-6 (33.3 percent) from the free throw line. NSU posted a 56 percent shooting performance in the first half and shot 90.9 percent (10-11) from the free throw line.
After playing only three minutes in the first half due to two early fouls, junior forward Lauren Schuldt tallied seven points in the first three minutes of the second half. Her three-point play at the 7:05 mark of the third made it 43-26, the smallest margin for RSU in the quarter. NSU continued to control the contest after the third period with the score 59-38.
In a high scoring fourth period, the Hillcats cut the deficit to 13 points, the smallest margin in the second half, with a 12-2 run in the final 3:12 of the game. Schuldt scored six of the points in the ending run for the final score of 79-66. The Cats registered 28 points in the final stanza to outscore the RiverHawks by eight.
Schuldt posted a game-high 22 points, all coming in the second half in 13 minutes. She finished 8-of-13 shooting from the field and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Jackson added 16 points and a team-high six rebounds. Coming off the bench, Ke'Aunna Johnson hit double figures with 11 points. With a second half shooting performance of 47.4 percent (18-38), the Hillcats totaled 35.7 percent (25-70) from the field for the game.
NSU put four players in double digits with Destiny Strange totaling a team-high 19 points. The RiverHawks finished at 52.6 percent (30-57) from the field.
The Hillcats return home for the annual homecoming contest on Saturday against Bacone College at 2 p.m. inside the Claremore Expo Center. Coverage will be available on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.
For more information on RSU basketball, go to www.rsuhillcats.com.