Second half surge pushes Hillcats to 68-58 win over Rangers

FORT SMITH, Ark. – After an even first half, the Rogers State men's basketball team used a 33-23 advantage in the second half to surge to a 68-58 win over UW-Parkside on Tuesday (Dec. 18) at the Stubblefield Center to open the UAFS Holiday Classic.

After a 35-35 halftime score, the Hillcats (8-3) used a 15-0 run midway through the second half to put the game way. The Rangers took a 41-37 edge early in the second half, but RSU scored 15 straight points to gain a 52-41 lead with 10:09 remaining.

Latrell Tidwell opened the spurt with a layup, and Tate Turner tallied seven straight points, his only points of the game, to open up a 46-41 advantage with 12:20 left. Chase Littlejohn got hot from deep, ending the run with back-to-back 3-pointers for the 52-41 score.

Littlejohn gave RSU its largest lead of the game at 57-45 at the 7:49 mark with a layup for the 12-point edge.

Parkside cut the margin to six a few times late, but Littlejohn sank another 3-pointer with only 2:14 remaining to extend the margin to 67-58. The Hillcats went on to win 68-58.

Littlejohn was a perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the field in the game, including four 3-poiners.The senior guard finished with a game-high 16 points in only 18 minutes. Saint Hilaire posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Tidwell poured in 13 points.

For the game, RSU shot 42.6 percent (26-61) from the floor and 37.5 percent (6-16) from 3. They held a 38-27 advantage in rebounds.

UWP finished at 41.3 percent (19-46) for the game and 28 percent (7-25) from 3-point distance. In the second half, the Rangers were held to 30.4 percent (7-23) from the field and 14.3 percent (2-14) from 3.

Brandon Trimble went for a team-high 15 points off the bench. D'Aaron Owens and Joey St. Pierre each added 12 points.

The Hillcats end the UAFS Holiday Classic with a game against Cameron tomorrow (Dec. 19) at 3 p.m. at the Stubblefield Center. Video streaming and live stats will be available along with radio coverage on 91.3 FM.