Rogers State’s roaring start on Saturday afternoon led the Hillcats to an 82-70 victory over Henderson State and a sweep of the MIAA/GAC Conference Challenge hosted at Cedar Valley College.
The Hillcats opened up the game against the Reddies with a 19-0 run over the first 5:56 of the game. The Hillcats had five three pointers, including two from freshman Jett Sternberger, as well as a pair of baskets from Gabriel Ferreira to fuel the hot start.
The Hillcats would end up with 41 points in both halves of the game, taking a 16-point lead into the break before holding off a late charge from the Reddies for the victory.
Marques Sumner, who started the game with a three pointer, led all scorers for the second-straight game, finishing with 21 points after 27 in the opener. The senior transfer was 5-for-9 shooting, all from three-point range, in the game. He also was 6-for-9 from the free throw line and led the Hillcats with six rebounds and five assists.
Sternberger finished with his first double-digit game of his collegiate career, scoring 17 point, including 14 in the first half. The Kingfisher, Oklahoma native was 4-for-8 from behind the arc in the game and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He also had five rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal in the game.
After limited action in the opener, Ferreira scored his first points of the season in a full return on Saturday. After missing almost two seasons, Ferreira started on Saturday and scored 11 points in 25 minutes before fouling out of the game. He also had four rebounds for the Hillcats.
Tavian Davis had his first double-digit game of the season and had a pair of perfect trips to the free-throw line late in the game to help the Hillcats. Davis, who had a pair of three pointers in the first half to help fuel the hot start, finished with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Brewster Peacock was the other starter for the Hillcats and added six points and four rebounds in 24 minutes.
Ricardo Lynch led the Hillcats off the bench with eight points in the game. Lynch had a three pointer during the 19-0 run and added five points in the second half. Lynch also had the joint lead for steals in the game for the Hillcats with two swipes. He also had a pair of rebounds.
Darraja Parnell also had a pair of steals in the game and pulled down five rebounds. He also scored his first points as a Hillcat with a made field goal and a free throw to finish with three in the game.
Both Parnell and Lynch also had a block in the game.
Rogers State shot 60 percent from behind the arc in the first half for the second-straight game. The Hillcats had eight on Friday and topped it with nine against Henderson State. Rogers State finished the game shooting 56.5 percent from behind the arc with 13 threes.
The Hillcats were 47.8 percent from the field in the game and outrebounded the Reddies 37-33 in the game. Rogers State also held Henderson State to 37 percent shooting for the game and just 10.5 percent from three-point range.
Rogers State will have a week off before returning to action against another GAC team, taking on Oklahoma Baptist in the home opener for the Hillcats on Saturday, November 16. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. after the conclusion of the women’s game in a doubleheader at the Claremore Expo Center.