Tim Hanson, Sports Information Director
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Rogers State men’s basketball team ended its trip to Puerto Rico with a 54-48 victory over UPR Rio Piedras on Saturday night at Coliseo Roberto Clemente as the Hillcats went 2-0 during the weekend.
Late in the first half, the Hillcats (5-2) extended a slight two-point edge to seven and went into halftime with a 27-20 lead. With a 20-18 score with 3:29 left, Tate Turner knocked down a 3 to make it 23-18 with 3:05 before the half. RSU pushed the advantage to seven at 25-18 on a Latrell Tidwell layup. After two free throws from UPR, the navy and red ended the half with a basket from Destin Eke for the 27-20 halftime score.
In the second half, RSU quickly pushed the edge to double digits at 30-20 after a 3-pointer from Tavian Davis with 18:36 remaining in the game.
UPR closed the deficit to one at 30-29 with a 9-0 run, but the Cats tallied five quick points to extend the lead to 36-29 after a layup from Saint Hiliare and a 3-pointer from Josh Joiner.
The Hillcats increased the margin to their largest lead of the game at 48-34 with 7:13 on the clock on a 3-pointer from Bryan Battle. The advantage was 12 points at 52-40 with 1:30 left before some late points from UPR made it a 54-48 final score.
The Hillcats shot 35.7 percent (20-56) from the field for the game, including 42.3 percent (11-26) in the second half. RSU finished at 33.3 percent (8-24) from 3.
UPR posted a 36.2 shooting percentage (17-47) in the game and hit only 18.2 percent (4-22) from 3.
Turner scored a game-high 16 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the field with two 3-pointers. He was the only Hillcat in double figures.
UPR Rio Piedras’s Josue Erazo went for a team-high 13 points. Neftali Acevedo added 11 points.
The Hillcats return home to play host to UA Fort Smith on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Claremore Expo Center. Live stats and video streaming will be available on the Hillcat Network and radio coverage will be carried on 91.3 FM.