From RSU Sports Information
Scott Slarks, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
CLAREMORE – A balanced offensive attack led the Rogers State men’s basketball team to a dominating 98-49 victory over Hillsdale Free Will Baptist Monday night at the Claremore Expo Center.
The Hillcats finished off their ninth-consecutive win to open the season with six players reaching double-figure scoring, led by a double-double performance from Jeylyn Sharpe. The sophomore had a team-best 16 points and 12 rebounds for his second-consecutive double-double.
Robert Johnson and Corey Ayala scored back-to-back baskets in the paint for RSU to open the scoring. Travis Hester added a three pointer as the Cats built a 15-8 advantage before the Saints scored the next four points cutting into the deficit.
Again, RSU turned to the inside game as Johnson grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the put back starting a 10-0 run. The senior tallied six points during the stretch to give the Hillcats a 25-12 lead.
Late in the first half, four different players scored as RSU posted 13-straight points for a commanding 38-15 edge and closed the stanza with a 9-1 run moving in front 47-18 at the break. Reigning Heartland Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, Donald Moore, ended the half with a team-high 12 points.
Chase Littlejohn found an open J.C. Hartzler in the corner for a triple and the senior knocked down the try as the Hillcats continued to add to the margin, 64-26, at the 13:52 mark. With the three points, Hartzler moved past Deveric Taylor and into second place on the all-time scoring list for RSU on the same night he became the program’s all-time games started leader at 78.
The RSU lead was as high as 51 points, 93-42, after a pair of free throws from Hester capped a 12-3 run and the Hillcats closed out the final non-conference victory, 98-49.
Behind Sharpe’s 16 points, Johnson added 15 points and nine rebounds, while Moore and Travis Julien added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Hartzler and Hester each scored 11 to round out the double-digit scorers for the unbeaten Hillcats.
RSU (9-0) returns to Heartland Conference play Thursday night hosting UA Fort Smith for a 7:30 p.m. clash at the Claremore Expo Center. Catch all the action live on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.