Hartzler hits 1,000 for Hillcats in career night at NSU

Rogers State's J.C. Hartzler. Photo courtesy RSU Sports Info.

From RSU Sports Info.
Scott Slarks, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

TAHLEQUAH – J.C. Hartzler became the fourth player in Rogers State men’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points Tuesday night in a 70-65 win over Northeastern State at the NSU Event Center.

The senior from Tulsa, Oklahoma hit the milestone with his 15th point during a career-night where he scored 30 points and led the charge keeping RSU unbeaten on the season. He posted his 1,000th point at the 12:13 mark converting at the free throw line after scoring 14 points in the opening half.OSN-RSU-2015-A

After the RiverHawks scored the opening point, the Hillcats tallied the game’s next seven points, capped by an old-fashioned, three-point play from Hartzler as RSU jumped to a 7-1 lead. Hartzler converted at the rim again on a perfect feed from Corey Ayala, who returned after missing the previous three games.

NSU chipped away at the lead and eventually evened the score, 13-13, before Jeylyn Sharpe drained an open three pointer from the top of the key. The RiverHawks got the next seven points as the teams traded leads back and forth.

In the final two minutes, Robert Johnson started a 5-0 run by spinning in the lane for a layup and Donald Moore followed with a trey from the left wing sending the Hillcats to the locker room leading 34-29 at halftime.

Johnson stretched the lead to 39-31 early in the second half posting up in the paint and cashing in on a three-point play. He continued to own the lane hitting another free throw bumping the advantage to 40-31.

The RiverHawks responded with a 9-0 run to even the score for the sixth of 10 times in the contest, 40-40 and regained a 43-40 edge from the free throw line. The RSU deficit got as high as four until rallying back to tie things 46-46 on Sharpe’s inside bucket. With neither team able to take control of the contest, the score tied three more times at the mid-point of the stanza.

NSU opened a 61-57 advantage at 4:23, but it was Hartzler pushing the Hillcats back within one knocking down his first trey of the night. The senior continued to will RSU into the lead draining another triple following a tough offensive rebound by Sharpe giving the visitors a 64-63 lead. Hartzler and Sharpe both added pairs of free throws extending the margin and the Hillcats closed out the road win, 70-65.

Hartzler led all scorers with 30 points hitting 16-of-18 from the free throw line, missing the single-game record for made free throws by one. Travis Hester hit four from behind the arc finishing with 12 points, while Sharpe and Johnson added 11 points. Johnson completed his first double-double for the Hillcats grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.

RSU (5-0 overall) opens the program’s longest home stand Nov. 30 playing host to Bacone for a non-conference matchup starting at 7 p.m. Follow along live on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.

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