CLAREMORE — The No. 25 Rogers State men’s basketball team was swept by No. 25 Mid-America Christian for the first time in program history on Thursday night as the Evangels upset the Hillcats 76-72 inside the Gaulke Activity Center.
The Hillcats struggled offensively and the charity stripe was the team’s demise as they missed 12 free throws in the contest, nine in the second stanza. RSU was 5-of-19 from behind the arc and shot 42 percent from the field.
The Hillcats led by as many as 12 points in the second half but the momentum shifted towards the Evangels in the final five minutes of the game. MACU used a 9-2 run to take a 64-58 lead with 3:30 to play in the game. The Hillcats chipped away at the deficit in the final minutes of the contest and cut the MACU lead to one point with 18 seconds to play. MACU pushed the lead to two points as Reggie Davis made the first of his two free throws. The Hillcats were able to rebound the ball when he missed the second free throw but committed a turnover trying to score a quick bucket. RSU was forced to foul and Charlie Shorter knocked down both of his free shots to seal the win for MACU.
Despite a rough start in the first half, the Hillcats settled in and used a 12-0 run to end the half with a 32-24 advantage. Brian Gibson registered an offensive rebound and a layup as time expired at intermission to give RSU the eight-point lead.
Three Hillcats registered double digits scoring led by Kendrell Thompson with 16 points. Alex Ewings followed with 15 points and Ken Holdman rounded out the group with 12 points. Gibson pulled in 16 rebounds however; MACU won the battle on the boards 46-34.
Shorter tallied a game-high 25 points while Angelo Lewis tallied a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Rogers State (17-8, 5-6) will look to return to the win column on Saturday at the Cats host the University of Science and Arts at 5 p.m. inside the Claremore Expo. The game will be streamed live on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live and on RSU Radio 91.3 FM.