Roger State Men’s Basketball wrapped up the preseason Friday night by hanging with Oklahoma State, before falling 75-63 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“I was proud of our guys for a team that’s only returning two players that have played over 10 minutes in our system and bringing in so many new guys in such a short amount of time,” said head coach Justin Barkley. “I was proud for our guys, and the way they fought.”
Rogers State took the first lead, as newcomer Christopher Miller scored the opening basket with a layup. Oklahoma State responded and eventually took a 19-9 lead before the Hillcats used an 11-2 run to claw back to within one.
Lynch had 16 points, while Sumner finished with 10 points. Lynch also had three rebounds, a block and a steal. Sumner was second on the team with six rebounds and three assists. He also had one steal.
After the Hillcats cut the score to one, the Cowboys slowly opened up a first half lead back to 37-29 heading into the break.
Early in the second half, Oklahoma State used a 9-0 run and then a 14-0 run to go up by as much as 22, but the Hillcats kept within reach of the Big 12 team, working back to 12 points over the final minutes, which included a 7-0 run for the navy and red.
Tavian Davis added six second half points to finish in double figures with 10. He also finished with a team high four assists and had three rebounds.
Brewster Peacock led the Hillcats on the glass, finishing with eight rebounds. Rogers State out-rebounded the Cowboys 38-36 in the game.
“To win the rebounding battle against a team with that kind of size,” said Barkley, “I think it speaks a little bit to our kids’ character and toughness.”
“I thought our effort and energy was great. We were chasing on the glass, 11 offensive rebounds, for one slows that down in transition. I thought our guys showed some grit.”
The Hillcats also shot 40 percent for the game and was 47.4 percent from behind the arc. On the defensive end, Rogers State held Oklahoma State to 41.7 percent shooting.
“We definitely wanted to compete,” said Barkley. “I thought we did that on the defensive end. I thought our defense was pretty sound for the most part.”
Jett Sternberger had two of the Hillcats six steals in the game. The true freshman made his collegiate debut in the game, adding five points and two assists.
Miller, who scored the opening basket, finished with eight points and had four rebounds in the game. He also had one of three blocks for the Hillcats.
Rogers State will now set their sights on the official season opener, a trip to Lancaster, Texas to face Southern Arkansas in the first of two games at the MIAA/GAC Crossover Challenge. Tipoff on the season opener is set for 7 p.m. on November 8 at the Cedar Valley College Gymnasium.