CLAREMORE, OKLA. – In a game that saw 17 lead changes and 16 tie scores, the Southern Arkansas University women's basketball team held the lead when it mattered as they picked up their third win of the season in an 84-76 victory over Rogers State University on Saturday afternoon. SAU head coach Adam Collins has now had two teams start the season 3-0, as his squad did in 2019-2020.
The Lady Muleriders shot 39.2 % (29-74) from the field, and an impressive 87.0% 20-23 from the charity strike. SAU finished with 38 rebounds to the Hillcats 37. The Lady Mulerider bench played a big role in the victory as they combined for 41 of the 84 Mulerider points.
SAU had four players finish with double figures in scoring as they were led by Kisi Young, who was one rebound shy of a double-double as she finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. Kenzie Ezekiel tallied 13 points off of the bench for the Lady Muleriders, while Jessica Jones chipped in 11 points off of the bench. Ariana Guinn finished with 11 points and a team high seven assists.
The Hillcats turned the ball over 26 times, which includes 14 SAU steals, as Ezekiel, Diamond Morris, and Tearra Cook all finished with three steals a piece.
RSU would score the first two points of the contest, but the lead changes would add up quickly as SAU would pull ahead 7-2. The Lady Muleriders found themselves down 15-11 midway through the first quarter but would quickly tie the contest at 17 all on a three point play by Lillie Moore. The Hillcats would however go on a 6-1 run to close the first quarter with 23-18 lead.
The second quarter saw SAU battle back and tie the game at 26 on a Jones three pointer, however RSU kept things close through the quarter as the two teams went to the locker room tied at 37-37.
SAU was able to pull out to a four point lead twice in the third quarter at 43-39 and 45-41, but RSU continued to have an answer tying the game at 45. Despite finding themselves down by six points at 55-49 late in the third quarter (2:55), the Lady Muleriders were able to battle back as they used an 8-3 run to close out the quarter trailing 58-57.
The fourth quarter would see the Lady Mulerider offense explode for a game high 27 points. SAU would jump out to a 59-58 lead to start the fourth on a Jones layup (9:29). The two teams continued to play a tightly contested game as there would be two more ties at 64-64 (6:24) and 72-72 (2:12) which would be the last tie of the contest, as the Lady Muleriders went on a 12-4 run in the final 1:56 seconds to pull out the victory.
The Lady Muleriders will have one more game before the Thanksgiving holiday as they are set to take on the University of Texas at Tyler in Tyler, Texas on Wednesday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.