Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

March 15, 2013

Lady ‘Cats advance to Sweet 16

FRANKFORT, Ky. — No. 15-ranked Rogers State sent No. 20 Our Lady of the Lake home with a 79-69 Hillcat victory  Thursday morning in the opening round of the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship.

Six Hillcats reached double figures as RSU limited the NAIA’s highest scoring offense to 69 points..

Coach Roxanne Long’s squad did well against the Saints full-court press despite 19 turnovers by the Hillcats. RSU led from start to finish with just four times sprinkled in the game, all coming in the opening 10 minutes of action.

RSU held a 41-28 lead at the intermission and saw the advantage be trimmed to 52-51 with 10:25 remaining on a Chelsea Solis three-pointer for OLLU. A jumper by Adrianna Leatherbury pushed started an 11-5 run by the Hillcats stretching the lead out to seven points with 7:27 to go.

A layup and free throw by Clarissa Cannon for the conventional three point play grew the lead to 72-60 with 3:59 to go, as the lead never dropped below an eight point advantage in the remaining time.

Leah Smith led the Hillcats in scoring with 14 points while Ariani Silva and Kelby Fritz added 12 points each. Leatherbury added 10 points while Cannon dropped in 11 points and seven rebounds off the Hillcat bench. Sierra Cornwell totaled 11 points with two steals despite sitting a good amount of the first half with a pair of fouls.

RSU made 19-of-21 from the charity stripe and shot 45 percent from the field, including 6-of-15 from three-point.

OLLU (30-4) shot 37 percent from the field and was led in scoring by Nashae Owens  with 18 points, all of them coming in the second half.

RSU (24-9) will play at 1:15 p.m.  today against the winner of No. 1-seed Westmont (Calif.) and No. 8-seed University of the Cumberlands.

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