Hillcats use early run to cruise past Hilltoppers

RSU Sports
Tim Hansen, Sports Information Director

CLAREMORE – Rogers State women’s basketball scored the first 12 points in the game to pull away for a 63-51 win over St. Edward’s on Thursday (Feb. 8) at the Claremore Expo Center.

The Hillcats (8-13, 3-6 Heartland) opened the game with the first 12 points to go up 12-0 midway through the first period. Darian Jackson started with two layups, and Nikola Nedoroscikova totaled six points. Lauren Schuldt also scored inside during the opening run. RSU held a 17-4 edge at the end of the first period. The Cats limited SEU to 11.8 percent shooting in the opening 10 minutes.

In the second period, Nedoroscikova gave the Cats their largest lead of the first half on a layup with the 3:38 mark for a 31-13 advantage.

The Hilltoppers ended the first half with a 10-3 run for a 34-23 margin at the break.

SEU cut the deficit to single digits once in the second half at 44-36 after a Bailey Hill 3-pointer with 3:59 remaining, but the Cats ended the period on an 8-0 spurt to take a 52-36 lead into the final stanza.

The Hillcats pushed the advantage out to the largest margin of the game at 20 points on a Jackson basket for a 60-40 score with 4:27 left as the Cats hung on for the 63-51 victory.

RSU’s defense limited the Hilltoppers to 30.6 percent 19-62) from the field, including 11.8 percent (2-17) in the opening period when the Cats pulled away.

Nedoroscikova totaled a game-high 17 points, two off her career high, on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. She posted 13 points in the first half. The senior from Kosice, Slovakia nearly tallied a double-double, adding a career-high nine rebounds. The guard registered a game-high five assists in 29 minutes

Jackson went for a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Schuldt finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

SEU’s Brooke Panfili went for 17 points, and Hill totaled 16 points.

RSU finished at 50 percent shooting (23-46) from the floor and 44.4 percent (4-9) from 3. The navy and red were also efficient from the line at 86.7 percent (13-15).

The Hillcats start a three-game road trip on Saturday at No. 2-ranked Lubbock Christian in Lubbock, Texas. Tip is set for 1 p.m. at the Rip Griffin Center. Radio coverage will be available on 91.3 FM.