CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Rogers State men's basketball team scored the game's first five points and led the whole way in a 68-63 win over Emporia State on Saturday (Dec. 2) at the Claremore Expo Center. With the win, RSU moved to 7-2 and 4-0 at home.
In a slow start for both teams, RSU totaled the first five points in the opening three minutes to gain an early 5-0 advantage. Tavian Davis started the scoring with a three-point play at the 17:31 mark, and Gabriel Ferreira hit a layup with 15:59 remaining for the 5-0 score.
Midway through the first half the Cats went up 10 as a Saint Hillaire triple made it 17-7 with 9:54 left before halftime.
The Hornets sliced the deficit to one point on a Malik Hluchowecky 3-pointer at the 7:25 mark of the first half for a 17-16 margin.
With the Cats still clinging to a slight one point late at 19-18, RSU ended the half with a 16-5 run to take a 35-23 lead into halftime.
ESU opened the second half with a run of their own, going on an 11-1 spurt to pull to with two at 36-34 after Stephaun Limuel scored on a tip-in. RSU quickly pushed the lead back to seven with a Hilaire jumper and a 3 from Brewster Peacock for a 41-34 score.
Late in the second half, the Hornets cut the margin to one with two free throws from Hassan Thomas. RSU then tallied five straight points from the free throw line to take control at 61-55 with 3:28 left.
The Hornets made it interesting at the end when a foul on a 3-point shot allowed ESU to cut the margin in half to 66-63 with 39 seconds left, but the Cats made free throws in the final seconds to get the 68-63 victory.
Baron Smith Jr., finished with a game-high 17 points. Peacock went for 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He was one rebound away from his first career double-double as he pulled down nine boards. Gage Loy posted 10 points and eight rebounds. The navy and red shot 43.2 percent (19-44) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-13) from 3.
Limuel led ESU with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hillcats are off for 13 days before playing in Fort Smith, Ark. against Texas A&M-Commerce on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Stubblefield Center on the campus of UA Fort Smith. Live audio will be available on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.
For more information on RSU basketball, go to www.rsuhillcats.com.