ALVA — The Rogers State men’s basketball team was unable to complete the series sweep against Northwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday night as the Rangers registered a 76-70 victory inside Percefull Fieldhouse.
The Rangers opened the game with a 5-0 lead forcing the Hillcats to play catch-up early. Seniors Donald Williams and Kendrell Thompson carried the RSU offense in the first 10 minutes of play as they combined to score 20 of the Hillcats 22 points. RSU knotted the score with a jumper by Thompson and took its first lead of the night (22-19) with a trey from Williams. The Cats used a 6-0 run to take a 37-31 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
RSU clung to a single digit lead for much of the second half but the Rangers took over down the stretch. The score was knotted nine times throughout the game but the Rangers took the lead for good with just under two minutes to play. Jonathan Freemyer registered a two-handed dunk to put the Rangers in front by a bucket which gave the momentum to NWOSU. They doubled their lead with a pair of made free throws by Bruce White. RSU was unable to cut the deficit with time running down, forcing the Cats to foul. Daryl Glover made the back side of his bonus free throws to push the Rangers’ lead to five points. Ken Holdman cut the NWOSU lead to three with 16 seconds remaining but the Rangers converted 3-of-4 from the free throw line to seal the win.
Williams finished with a game-high 22 points and five steals. Thompson tallied 19 points and JC Hartzler rounded out the double digit scorers with 13 points. RSU went 6-for-22 from behind the arc and shot 42 percent from the field.
Freemyer led the Rangers with 21 points and Glover added 13 points. NWOSU edged the Cats on the boards 35-32 and shot 49 percent from the field.
Rogers State (10-2) will look to return to the win column on Monday night at the Claremore Expo as the Cats host Ecclesia College at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live and on RSU Radio 91.3 FM.