CLAREMORE, Okla. – Fort Hays State’s first meeting with Rogers State was a memorable one. After trailing most of the game, the 13th-ranked Tigers used a 21-4 fourth quarter run to turn a 10-point deficit into a seven point lead then held on in the closing seconds for a 71-69 win over the Hillcats Saturday afternoon at the Claremore Expo Center.
Rogers State (2-14, 0-7 MIAA) went 11-of-20 from beyond the arc and led for over 31 minutes of the game but the Tigers (13-2, 4-2 MIAA) clamped down defensively forcing eight fourth quarter turnovers which turned into 11 points and helped them to their seventh straight win.
The Hillcats used a 9-2 run to go up five with 2:24 to play in the first quarter. The Tigers (13-2, 4-2 MIAA) scored the next six points and tied the game 14-14 at the quarter break. They led 17-16 early in the second before Rogers State scored nine straight and led by as many as nine in the first half.
The Hillcats pushed the lead to 11 twice in the closing minutes of the third quarter and were up nine heading to the fourth. A 3-pointer from Lilly Garner gave RSU a 10-point lead early in the fourth but the Tigers clamped down defensively, holding the Hillcats to two points over the next eight minutes.
Belle Barbieri led the Tigers with a season-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Jaden Hobbs scored 14 and Taylor Rolfs added 12.