SHAWNEE — The No. 20 Rogers State men’s basketball team stunned No. 9 Oklahoma Baptist and earned the series sweep with a 59-55 win on Saturday evening at Noble Complex.
The win marks RSU’s first victory over OBU inside Noble Complex in program history. The Bison (19-5, 7-3) rarely lose on their home court with a 101-5 record at Noble Complex since the 2007-08 season.
The game was a battle from start to finish. There were four tie-ups and four lead changes in the second half with neither team gaining a double-digit lead. Sharp shooting from the free throw line was crucial in the Hillcats’ victory as they converted 6-of-6 shots from the free throw line in the final minute of the game. With nine minutes to play, the game was tied 36-36 thanks to a made free throw by Donald Williams. The senior guard converted the back side of the free tosses to give the Cats a one-point lead. RSU went on to outscore OBU 7-1 over the next two minutes to take a seven-point lead. The advantage grew to nine points with 1:25 to play thanks to a made free throw by Brian Gibson.
With their backs against the wall, the Bison answered with back-to-back treys by Chase Adams who turned the second three-pointer into a four-point play with a made free throw. Trailing by two with 56 seconds to remaining, OBU fouled to stop the clock. Ken Holdman sunk a pair of free throws and the Cats clung to a four-point lead. The teams traded buckets in the final six possessions with all RSU’s points coming at the charity stripe. The Hillcats were unable to get a stop until OBU’s final possession of the game. The Bison got three chances to convert a bucket before Brian Gibson and Adams got tied up under the basket, resulting in a jump ball in favor of the Hillcats. With 2.6 seconds remaining, RSU inbound the ball and registered the win.
OBU opened the game with a 6-2 run and clung to a single digit lead for much of the half. The Hillcats outscored OBU 12-2 over the final six minutes of the first stanza to take a 24-22 lead into the locker room at the break.
Holdman led all scorers with 17 points while Kendrell Thompson added 13 points. Despite not making a three-pointer for the first time this season, Williams finished with 10 points. The Hillcats won the battle on the boards 37-28.
Adams led the Bison in scoring with 16 points. OBU shot 42 percent from the field and 20 percent from behind the arc.
Rogers State (17-6, 5-4) returns to the Claremore Expo on Monday night as the Cats look to avenge a one-point loss from earlier this season against No. 6 John Brown. The game is set to tip at 8 p.m. It will be streamed live on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live and on RSU Radio 91.3 FM.