KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Rogers State men's Basketball team won its first game of the MIAA Men's Basketball Tournament on Thursday night, defeating Pittsburg State 71-69 in the quarterfinals at the Municipal Auditorium.
How it Happened: After Rogers State hit the first shot of the game, the Gorillas made back-to-back 3-pointers to put themselves up 6-2. The Hillcats were just 1-for-5 from the field to begin the game.
However, the Navy and Red quickly turned things around, going on a 23-5 run to take the lead and control of the game midway through the first half. The run started with 10-straight points from the Hillcats before the Gorillas made a basket. The Hillcats lead reached as large as 17 points.
The Gorillas made a late charge in the half, going on a 15-5 run to cut the Hillcat lead to 38-33 at the break.
At the beginning of the second half, the Gorillas took the lead back from the Hillcats to make the score 41-40. The two teams battled for the lead until midway through the second half when the Hillcats were down by their largest margin of the day, five points.
The Navy and Red fought back to tie the game back up at 60.
With both teams in the bonus in the closing minutes of the game, it came down to free throws. With the scored tied at 69 points, Tavian Davis went to the line with two seconds left and hit both free throws to give the Hillcats a two-point lead.
The Gorillas threw a Hail Mary-type pass to get the ball on the free-throw line on their side of the court, where Davis stole the pass. After the steal, Davis was called for a travel which gave the ball back the Gorillas with 1.1 seconds left.
The Gorillas inbounded the ball once more and got off a deep two-point shot which rattled out and gave the Hillcats the victory.
Key Statistics: The Hillcats were 7-8 from the free-throw line in the final five minutes of the game.
The Hillcats shot 52 percent from the field, while the Gorillas shot 40 percent.
The Navy and red were able to put up 30 points in the paint and only allowed the Gorillas to score 16 points in that area.
Players of Note: Marques Sumner led the team in scoring finishing with 19 points. Sumner was 3-5 from 3-point range and also tallied 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Christopher Miller led the Hillcats in rebounds for the game, finishing with 7 boards. Miller also finished with 13 points and 2 blocks.
Brewster Peacock finished with 11 points for the Hillcats, with nine of those points coming from behind the three-point arc.
Davis finished with 10 points in the game. Davis also had 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Notes: Davis is one steal away from tying the Rogers State career record for steals. Davis now has 138, just behind the record held by Chris Francis at 139.
The Hillcats remain undefeated this season when Sumner has finished as the leading scorer, improving to 12-0.
Rogers State improved to 5-3 all time at the Municipal Auditorium.
The Hillcats are now 13-3 away from the Claremore Expo this season and a perfect 4-0 in neutral-site games.
Up Next: With the win, Rogers State will take on the winner of the No. 3/No. 6 seed game between Missouri Southern and Northeastern State, which is played on Friday. The Hillcats will meet the winner in the semifinals on Saturday with tip off set for 8:15 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium.