Tim Hanson, Sports Information Director
CLAREMORE – The Rogers State women’s basketball team held on for a 74-72 win over Newman on Wednesday at the Claremore Expo Center.
The Hillcats (10-15, 5-8 Heartland Conference) built a six-point lead in the final two minutes, using a late 7-0, and hung on at the end for the 74-72 victory.
Trailing by one at 60-59 with 3:25 left after a Newman basket from Hannah Alexander, RSU went on a 7-0 spurt to take a 66-60 edge with 2:04 on the clock. Lauren Schuldt started with a layup inside, and Desiree Nelson knocked down a 3 for a 64-60 score with 2:30 remaining. Darian Jackson scored to put the navy and red up 66-60 with just over two minutes to go in the game.
In the final minute, Schuldt and Nikola Nedoroscikova hit four straight free throws to continue to hold a six-point margin at 70-64 with only 35 seconds remaining.
After Newman cut the deficit to 70-66, Nedoroscikova missed two free throws, but Jackson grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled. She made one-of-two free throws for a 71-66 score with 20 seconds left.
Newman’s Bria DeGrate sank a 3 with 16 seconds on the clock, but Schuldt hit two pressure free throws for a 73-69 edge with 14 seconds remaining.
NU’s Alexander made a 3-pointer with only five seconds left for a 73-72 score, but Schuldt hit one free throw and the Jets ran out of time in the 74-72 RSU victory.
Schuldt registered a game-high 19 points, going 7-for-8 shooting from the free throw line. She added five rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
Jackson totaled a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Lindsey Byfield went for 10 points. Nedoroscikova dished out a game-high eight assists.
Nelson set the new RSU single season record for 3-pointers as she hit six today for 18 points and totaled 70 3-pointers in the season. She broke the previous record of 65 by Ariani Silva in 2011-12.
RSU shot 45.5 percent (25-55) from the floor, including 47.1 percent (8-17) from 3.
Alexander of Newman tallied a team-high 18 points. The Jets shot 43.9 percent (25-57) for the game from the field.
The Hillcats play host to Oklahoma Christian on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. at the Claremore Expo Center for Senior Day for three RSU seniors. Coverage will be available on the Hillcat Network, RSU radio 91.3 FM and RSU TV.