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No. 15 Hillcats Bounce Lady Bison, 59-54

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CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

The Rogers State women's basketball team improved to 3-0 in Sooner Athletic Conference play on Thursday night with a 59-54 victory over Oklahoma Baptist inside the Claremore Expo.

The Lady Bison controlled the first four minutes of the game as they rushed out of the gate with an 11-1 advantage. However, the Hillcats bounced back over the next six minutes and used a 16-4 run to take a 17-15 lead. RSU ended the run with a steal by Adrianna Leatherbury, leading to a trey from the right elbow by Leah Smith. The Cats built a seven-point lead with four minutes to play in the half but the Lady Bison battled back with a 9-2 spurt to knot the score 26-26 at the break.

A conventional three-point play by Leah Smith and a layup by Kelby Fritz sparked RSU's second half start. The Hillcats used a 10-3 streak to take their first double digit lead of the night with a steal and a layup by Ariani Silva. The run gave RSU an 11-point cushion with seven minutes to play. OBU cut the deficit to four points with 18 seconds to play but Sierra Cornwell sunk a pair of free throws to put the game away.

For the seventh time this season, Smith led the Cats in scoring with 17 points. Silva tallied 16 points, a team-high eight boards and three steals to round out the double digit scorers. RSU nabbed 16 steals as the Lady Bison committed 27 turnovers. Sierra Cornwell led the team in steals with five swipes but eight of the nine Hillcats who played tonight registered at least one steal.

Charity Fowler led all scorers with 24 points and 12 rebounds. The Lady Bison (7-7, 0-3) won the battle on the boards 45-39.

The Hillcats' 3-0 start in conference play is the best in program history.

Rogers State (13-4, 3-0) returns to conference action on Saturday as the Hillcats travel to John Brown at 3 p.m.

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