Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Talk of the Season

RSU women working to bring it all together

When all eleven players of the Rogers State women’s basketball team come to play, no team in the Sooner Athletic Conference can stand a chance.

Yet, coming to play each night collectively is probably the biggest obstacle the Hillcats are facing, and for Head Coach Amy Williams this has been the talk of the season.

“Sometimes I think we still want things easy but we are starting to figure out that you’ve got to work for everything you get and you have to earn it hard, every possession defensively,” said Williams.

“Earn it” – The motto RSU women have been striving for resurrected in their four-game winning stretch.

The Hillcats kept their streak alive, beating up on teams by as much as 30 points. No wonder why they are ranked No. 12 in the nation and No. 2 in the SAC in the scoring margin column.

“When we play together, there are no tight games,” said senior point guard Cortney Crockett.

The streak wouldn’t last long. Wayland Baptist Flying Queens came to reign on Hillcat turf defeating RSU 73-70 keeping the Hillcats (5-5) stagnant in the middle pack of conference standings.

But on the bright sight, RSU women will have several opportunities for redemption. From the starting five to the reserve six, it’s safe to say RSU has one of the strongest rotations in the SAC which has proven to be a problem for opposing teams.

On any given night, the Hillcats are led by the fierce combination of senior point guard Cortney Crockett and junior guard Angie Criner. (3) Criner (46.3) and (4) Crockett (43.0) are the only 1-2 punch combo ranked side-by-side in the field goal percentage column averaging nearly 30 points per game between the two.

“They can create shots for themselves. They can create shots for other people, and that is a treat to have in those positions,” noted Williams. “Then when you add to that; when Hunter starts hitting shots or Pooh’s (Andrea Miles) knocking down shots or Kristy’s hitting shots that just makes it even better.”

Senior transfer Kristy Henderson has elevated into a major key reserve for RSU. In just 12 minutes of play in the win against Lubbock Christian, Henderson tallied a total of 8 points including burying a three-pointer lifting the Hillcats out of a scoring slump.

“It really is important even when the starters aren’t in the game, to keep producing,” said Henderson.
The six reserves combine for an average of 32.9 points and 15 rebounds a game.

Alongside the guards, RSU post players are also getting the job done in more ways than one.
Senior forward Candice Stewart has started in all 17 games played and leads the Hillcat bigs in scoring averaging 11.5 points and snagging 7.6 rebounds a night.

Not too far behind is sophomore power forward Logan Froese averaging 7.9 points and 7.4 rebounds a game. She’s currently ranked No. 2 in SAC on the offensive boards.

Williams can also count on forwards Brittani Smith and Madison Harris to stir things up making big plays and getting important defensive stops.

As a team, RSU women are ranked top 25 in the nation in 13 different categories. The Hillcats are also ranked top five in the conference in 16 different categories. So the pieces of the puzzle are definitely there, it’s just a matter of putting them all together.

“I think we’re understanding that everyone needs to contribute,” said Crockett. “And when we do that, we finish on top every time.”

* Stats listed as of Jan. 19*
* For RSU women basketball schedule visit website
* For current women conference standings visit website

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