Aaron Colen, Sports Editor, Aaron.Colen@chickashanews.com
The USAO women's basketball team missed four straight crucial free throws that could have sealed Thursday night's game against Rogers State at home, and the Hillcats made the Drovers pay.
Rogers State made its last three free throws, and then senior Ariani Silva hit a 3-point shot from the left corner with 1.8 seconds to play that ended up being the game-winner.
Rogers State knocked the Drovers down to 9-4, 0-1 in the Sooner Athletic Conference with the 66-64 win.
Rogers State advanced to 11-4, 1-0 in conference play.
USAO led by double digits near the mid-point of the first half, hitting 3's for the Drovers' first five field goals.
Rogers State was able to come back, however, and USAO only led by one point at halftime.
The two teams traded baskets back and forth for much of the period, before the Hillcats opened up a six-point lead with 7:59 to play.
There were 11 lead changes in the second half.
USAO then went on an 8-0 run, with five of those points scored by Rocio Medrano, to take a 59-57 lead with 4:38 left in the game.
The Drovers were up 64-60 with 38 seconds left in the game, when Kelby Fritz was fouled by Ndeye Ngom on a 3-point shot. Fritz made all three free throws, then intentionally fouled Brittany Scott after a timeout.
Scott missed both free throws, but Ngom got the offensive rebound. The Hillcats then fouled Rashelle Carr.
Carr also missed both free throws, and the Hillcats, having no timeouts, pushed the ball up court for Silva's game-winning shot.
Medrano was USAO's leading scorer with 20 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Tashina Ototivo scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds.
Scott and Ngom scored eight points each.
Rogers State had three players in double digits. Logan Froese scored 13 points and had eight rebounds.
Sierra Cornwell scored 10 points and had six assists and five rebounds, and Fritz scored 16 points.
USAO out-rebounded Rogers State 41-33, including 18-10 on the offensive glass.
USAO's next game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma City University.
The Drovers' next home game will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday against John Brown, and fans are encouraged to wear black to the game for "Black Out the Eagles" night.