CLAREMORE, Okla. (February 9, 2017) – Brennen Fowler's double-double (16 points, 15 rebounds) helped Lubbock Christian University rally back from an 11-point second half deficit, but through eight lead changes, it was Rogers State completing a regular season series sweep of the Chaparrals with a 64-60 win over the Chaps Thursday night in a Heartland Conference battle inside Expo Center.
Rogers State got things cooking early in the contest and doubled the Chaps score for a 12-6 lead at the 10-minute mark of the first period. Brennen Fowler scored six of LCU’s next eight points to pull the Chaps within three-points at 18-15. Freshman Jay Workman then knocked down a pair of free throws to pull Lubbock Christian within one-point with 7:31 left in the half. RSU was able to keep the Chaparrals at bay by scoring 11 of the final 13 points of the half to take a 35-24 lead over LCU at the break.
In the first half, Lubbock Christian could not get their shots to fall. As a team, the Chaps rattled off 36% (9-of-25) shooting from the field. LCU was unable to rely on their three-point game in the opening period and shot a disappointing 2-for-10 from beyond the arc. Fowler kept the Chaparrals in striking distance with 10 first half points on 80% shooting (4-of-5) from the floor. The Chaps cleared off the boards and grabbed an 18-12 rebounding advantage over the Hillcats in the period. LCU was plagued with turnovers and gave the ball up a total of 10 times in the half. Although the Chaparrals were perfect from the free throw line in the half, they only went to the charity stripe a total of four times.
Rogers State sunk 21 of their 35 points in the first half from three-point range on 7-of-14 from downtown. Travis Hester led the Hillcats with 15 points on a 62.5% (5-of-8) shooting mark. All 15 of Hester’s points came from long-range. As a team, RSU shot 13-of-28 for a 46.4% first half field goal average.
LCU struck first in the second period on a jumper by Ridrell Holman, followed by a Fowler layup. Baron Smith knocked down a trey giving the Hillcats a 10-point lead (38-28). Senior MarcusArrington completed an old-fashioned three-point play to cap a 6-0 run for the Chaps. Three minutes later, Arrington struck again with a fast break lay up that gave the Chaparrals their first lead of the game at 43-41 with 11:51 remaining in the contest. RSU quickly tied the game back up at 43-43 following a jumper by Johnathan Buckley. Holman was fouled while shooting a three-pointer and converted all three free throws to put the Chaps up 46-43 with 9:52 remaining. Once again, Rogers State persisted and quickly captured the lead from the Chaparrals with two free throws from JD Tisdale. Senior Tyler Rogers tried to provide some late game heroics for Lubbock Christian by sinking a couple of free throws of his own, putting the Chaps up 60-59 with 46 second to play. The effort was not enough for LCU, as RSU’s Baron Smith closed out the contest with five straight points to hand Lubbock Christian the 64-60 loss. Marcos Schuster had an opportunity to tie the game, but his runner rolled off the rim with under five seconds left when trailing 62-60.
LCU came out in the second half with a stronger offensive presence. Although they remained cold from three-point range, the Chaps did most of their damage from inside the arc. LCU shot 52% (13-of-25) from the field in the half. Although Fowler only scored six points in the period, he grabbed 12 defensive boards. Holman and Rogers woke up with 10 and 12 points respectively. Arrington dished out four of LCU’s seven assists in the half. Lubbock Christian’s defense suffocated Rogers State and held the Hillcats to 23.8% (5-of-21) shooting in the final period of play.
Baron Smith Jr. and JD Tisdale were the saving grace for RSU in the second half. Smith knocked down 14 points in the half while Tisdale accounted for 12. The Hillcats converted 17 of their 23 points from the charity stripe for a 73.9% (17-for-23) clip.
Despite a slow first half of play, the Chaps finished the night shooting 44% (22-of-50) from the field and 86.7% (13-for-15) from the free throw line. Fowler had a mammoth game with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds notching his 15th career double-double. LCU was dominant down low and scored 32 points inside the paint. In addition to Fowler, Ridrell Holman added 15 points on 71.4% (5-of-7) shooting. Rogers also got into double-scoring figures with 14 points on 54.5% (6-of-11) from the field. It was a tough night from the field for seniors Arrington (3-of-9), Isaac Cardona (0-of-2) and Schuster (0-of-6), who combined to shoot 17.6 % (3-of-17) from the field.
The loss drops Lubbock Christian to 14-9 on the year and 8-5 in conference play. The Chaparrals will now head to Fort Smith, Ark. for a Saturday afternoon Heartland tilt with University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Tip off is set for 3:00 pm inside the Lion’s Stubblefield Center.