CHICKASHA – Up by four points in the final 38 seconds of the game, the Drover women were hoping to start the New Year with an upset over the No. 14 Rogers State Hillcats on Thursday night at the USAO Fieldhouse.
But three made free throws later, the Hillcats cut the lead to just one, and, with just one second remaining on the clock, RSU senior Ariani Silva sailed in a spot-on three pointer to deliver a heartbreaking loss to the Drovers.
It had been a back-and-forth game since the beginning. After immediately falling behind by four, the Drovers scored 10 unanswered points. The Drovers led by as much as 11 in the first half, but went into halftime trailing 33-32.
The second half saw the lead change hands 11 times before the near buzzer beater gave Rogers State the final lead.
The Drovers had 11 steals and shot nearly 46 percent from beyond the arc. Also, second chance points were key in keeping the Drovers in the game. USAO scored 16 off second chances and allowed just four.
Senior Tashina Ototivo had her first double double of the season, knocking in 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Senior Rocio Medrano was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points. She shot 50 percent beyond the arc and made five of six free throws.
Paige Pulliam, a junior from Newcastle, had nine points while guards Brittany Scott and Ndeye Ngom each had eight points and three steals in the game. Scott also had four assists.
The Drovers move to 9-4 and are 0-1 at the beginning of Sooner Athletic Conference action.
They travel to No. 8 Oklahoma City to play at 3 p.m. Saturday before returning home against John Brown at 6 p.m. Tuesday. That game is Black Out the Eagles night and fans are encouraged to wear black to the game.