The Rogers State Men’s Basketball team picked up one of the program’s biggest wins of the NCAA era, defeating No. 11 Missouri Southern State 105-93 on the road at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
How it Happened: Marques Sumner hit a three pointer with the first shot of the game just 22 seconds in to give the Hillcats an early lead. Missouri Southern would tie the game at 5-5, but less than a minute later Sumner hit another three pointer and the Hillcats would lead for the remainder of the first half.
The teams battled back and forth over the first 20 minutes with the Hillcats unable to expand the lead past 10 points. Brewster Peacock would make a layup with less than a second left in the first half to help RSU take a 50-42 lead into the break.
At the half, both teams were shooting over 55 percent from three-point range and better than 50 percent from the field.
In the second half, the Lions would come out to challenge the Hillcats. The Lions would take the lead with just over 16 minutes left in the game. However Rogers State would retake the lead 63 seconds later.
Missouri Southern would tie the game at 62 with 13:03 to go, but Tavian Davis gave the Hillcats the lead for good just 30 seconds later, sparking a 13-2 run that saw the Hillcats open up a double-digit lead.
The Hillcats would then build the lead to as much as 18 points. The hosts cut the deficit to single digits with 34 second left, but Sumner made a free throw and layup over the final seconds to help secure the victory.
Key Statistic: The Hillcats outscored the Lions in the paint 40-22. The Hillcats bench also outscored the Lions bench 20-7.
Players of Note: Sumner led the team in scoring with 21 points. It is the eighth time this year that Sumner has led the team in scoring. Sumner also led the team in rebounds with eight boards. The senior would have four assists and a steal in the game as well.
Davis was right behind Sumner with 20 points. The senior would tally six assists to lead the team. Davis would also have three rebounds and two steals.
Peacock would finish with 18 points in the game. The junior also tallied seven rebounds.
Freshman Jett Sternberger would finish with 14 points. Sternberger would be perfect (6-6) from the free throw-line.
Senior Gabriel Ferreira would finish with 12 points even after fouling out with seven and half minutes remaining. Ferreira added five rebounds.
Junior Cole Kinnamon would be the final Hillcat to finish in double figures adding 11 points. Kinnamon would also have two rebounds and a steal.
Notes: The Hillcats shot 63 percent from the field, which is the seventh best shooting percentage in school history. The 105-point tally is the 12th best in school history.
Rogers State’s victory snapped a 26-game winning streak for Missouri Southern at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
The win also marks the highest ranked team the Hillcats have beat since joining the NCAA. A 72-70 win over No. 16 Dallas Baptist on January 6, 2018 was the previous best victory over a ranked team for Rogers State.
Rogers State set a new season long win streak with the victory, currently sitting at seven games. The Hillcats have also put together streaks of six wins and five wins this season.
What it Means: The Hillcats picked up a quality victory defeating No. 11 Missouri Southern, who entered the day tied for the MIAA lead at the top of the standings. The Hillcats pull closer to Missouri Southern for second in the league.
Up Next: Rogers State returns home to begin the final home stand of the season next Saturday, as the Hillcats welcome in Northeastern State for the first of three-straight games in Claremore over the next two weeks. The Hillcats are set to tipoff with the RiverHawks at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, at the Claremore Expo Center.