FORT SMITH, Ark. – UA Fort Smith used an early fourth period run to pull away from the Hillcats for a 72-58 victory over the Rogers State women's basketball team on Thursday (Nov. 30) at the Stubblefield Center in the Heartland Conference opener for both teams.
Junior Lauren Schuldt, who was limited to only 16 minutes due to four offensive fouls, made a jumper to tie the score at 48-48 with 1:22 left in the third period as the Hillcats rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to even the score. The tie score lasted only 15 seconds as UAFS scored on a layup to gain a 50-48 edge after three periods.
The Lady Lions (5-3, 1-0 Heartland) took control of the game with a 7-0 run over three and a half minutes in the fourth to pull out to a 59-50 margin with 5:25 left. The spurt was highlighted by a three-point play by Lundon Williams to lift UAFS to the nine-point advantage.
RSU (3-4, 0-1 Heartland) cut the deficit to seven points twice in the fourth, but the Lady Lions pushed the lead out to double figures at 66-54 with a 3-pointer from Micayla Haynes. UAFS led by as many as 15 points in the final three minutes on its way to the 72-58 win.
The Hillcats started the game fast, registering the game's first four points for a 4-0 lead at the 7:46 mark of the first period after back-to-back layups from Darian Jackson. The advantage grew to as large as five points for RSU when Jordan Evans scored inside for a 10-5 score with 2:04 left in the opening period. UAFS totaled the next seven points to erase the deficit and take a 12-10 advantage at the end of the period.
Jackson posted a career-high 18 points, going 9-of-13 shooting from the field. She was one of three navy and red forwards in double figures as Schuldt and Evans each totaled 12 points. Evans pulled down a game-high seven rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
UAFS used a balanced scoring attack with four Lady Lions finishing in double digits led by Ellie Lehne and Tayla Taylor with 13 points each. The Lady Lions shot 52 percent (26-50) from the field, including 50 percent (6-12) from 3.
The Hillcats return home for two straight contests.
The two-game homestand starts with Southwest Baptist on Saturday (Dec. 2) at 2 p.m. inside the Claremore Expo Center. Follow the action on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.
For more information on RSU basketball, go to www.rsuhillcats.com.