From RSU Sports Information
ALVA, Okla.- Senior Kelby Fritz was the hero on Saturday evening as she converted a layup with two seconds to play in overtime, giving the Rogers State women’s basketball team the eventual 67-66 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State at Percefull Fieldhouse.
RSU started the overtime period with a three pointer from the left corner by Sierra Cornwell and a jumper from Leah Smith to push the lead to five points with 3:42 to play. The Lady Rangers cut the deficit to one point with a pair of made free throws by Titania Simmons and Jonna Gregory. NWOSU tied the game with 1:23 to play but Fritz hit a jumper to put the Cats back in front by two points. Dierra Gilmore hit a trey from the top of the key with 18 seconds to play to give the Lady Rangers a one-point lead. With time running down, Fritz drove down the lane banked a layup in off the glass with two seconds on the clock to give RSU the lead. NWOSU was unable to get a shot off in the final two seconds and the Hillcats move to 4-0 on the road this season.
Despite trailing for most of the second half, RSU came storming back in the final minutes of play to push the game into overtime. With 3:43 to play the Lady Rangers led by nine points. RSU battled back with a 15-5 run and high pressure defense, including three steals by Cornwell to end the half. The Hillcats led just once in the second stanza as Smith hit a jumper to give RSU a one-point lead with 52 seconds to play in regulation. The Rangers knotted the score with a free throw by LaParis Newsome. RSU had the ball with 46 second to play but couldn’t convert the go-ahead bucket. Logan Froese tallied a steal with two seconds to play, sending the game into overtime.
The Hillcats and the Rangers traded buckets for much of the first half with four lead changes and three ties. RSU registered the largest lead of the half with an Ariani Silva trey from the left elbow to give RSU a six-point lead with 5:16 to play. The Lady Rangers ended the half with a 12-5 run to take a one-point advantage into the locker room at the break.
Coach Roxanne Long’s squad struggled from the charity stripe throughout the game, converting a season-low 26.1 percent. The Hillcats, who are shooting 76 percent from the line this season, converted just 6-of-23 attempts from the free throw line. RSU shot 47 percent from the field and 29 percent from long distance in the game. Fritz led RSU in scoring with 14 points and seven assists. Froese tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards while Cornwell rounded out the double digit scorers with 11 points and five steals.
The Lady Rangers edged the Cats on the boards 45-42 as Renee Golliday registered a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Newsome led all scorers with 20 points while dishing out seven assists.
Rogers State (9-2) returns to action at the Claremore Expo on Thursday as the Cats host Ecclesia College at 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live and on RSU Radio 91.3 FM.
Sara Williams is the Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations at Rogers State University.