CHICKASHA — No. 9 Rogers State fell on the road to No. 14 USAO, 78-71, inside USAO Fieldhouse Thursday night.
The Hillcats held a lead of no more than four points most of the first half before the Drovers closed out the stanza on a 12-5 run. USAO led 39-33 at the break.
The Drovers lead grow to 10 points in the opening 6:10 of second half play. RSU would trim the Drover advantage down to three points twice but USAO built the advantage back to 68-61 with 2:08 to go.
USAO would go cold from the charity stripe over the next 1:30 hitting just 4-of-10. Speedy point guard Ken Holdman weaved his way to eight points over the same timespan to cut the lead to 74-71 with 34 seconds left.
The Drovers however closed out the game hitting 6-of-6 from the free throw line to claim the upset victory.
RSU saw its five senior guards total 66 of the total 71 points as the Hillcats dressed just eight players. Holdman finished with 19 points while Donald Williams added 18. Justynn Hammond recorded 15 points off the bench as Kendrell Thompson closed out the game with 10 on the stat sheet.
USAO (8-1, 1-0) outrebounded the Hillcats 36-33 on the glass. Norris Rumph led all scorers with 28 points. Shavon Scott and Kennis White both chipped in 10 apiece for the Drovers. With the win Drover head coach Brisco McPherson recorded the 300th victory of his coaching career.
Rogers State (12-3, 0-1) returns to the Claremore Expo on Saturday, January 3 at 5 p.m. to face Mid-America Christian (5-4). RSU Radio 91.3FM will broadcast the live play-by-play and on www.rsuradio.com. The Hillcat Network will provide video streaming of the action at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.