LANCASTER, TX – Hot-shooting Rogers State cooled in the second half on Friday, but the Hillcats’ early lead was enough to top Southern Arkansas, 85-74, at the Great American Conference/Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Challenge The SAU loss was in spite of four players scoring in double figures. The Muleriders outscored the Hillcats 45-39 in the second half.
Rogers State (1-0) shot 64.3 percent (18-of-28) overall from the floor and 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from beyond-the-arc in the first half as they carried a 17-point lead into the intermission. The Hillcats led by as much as 21 points early on in the second half, but the Muleriders slowly battled back to pull the decision under a dozen points.
From the floor, the Muleriders posted a 39.6 percent (21-of-53) shooting clip. Southern Arkansas struggled from three-point range in the first half as they connected on just 3-of-15 attempts which contributed to a slugging start.
In the second half, Southern Arkansas shot 47.8 percent from the floor and made 20-of-28 from the charity stripe.
Junior DeVante Brooks led the Muleriders with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and he grabbed eight rebounds in 35 minutes. Junior Aaron Lucas followed with 13 points and three assists. Sophomore Jalen Brooks dropped a dozen points and finished a rebound shy of a double-double, while junior Gabe Gilliam added 11 points and Jessie Davis Jr. recorded nine points and five rebounds.
The Muleriders face a quick turnaround as a 1 p.m. Saturday tip-off with Newman is next from Cedar Valley College. The Jets dropped their season opener to Henderson State 67-60.
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