FORT SMITH – And just like that, it’s time for Heartland Conference play for the UAFS men’s basketball team.
Only four weeks into the regular season, the Lions will play the Rogers State Hillcats at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Expo Center in Claremore, Okla., in the conference opener for both teams.
Live statistics and live stream will be available, and the game will be broadcast on KHGG-FM 101.1 and KHGG-AM 1580.
It will be the first of two-consecutive conference games for the Lions this week. UAFS, which was picked to finish fifth in the conference, will host Lubbock Christian at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Stubblefield Center.
UAFS (4-4) snapped a two-game losing streak on Tuesday night with an impressive 83-75 road win against Cameron at Aggie Gym in Lawton, Okla. It was the second road win of the young season for the Lions, who also beat Midwestern State on the road on Nov. 10 in the final game of the Nissan of Wichita Falls Conference Challenge at D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls, Texas.
The Lions average 77 points per game with four players averaging double-figures in scoring – senior guard Chris Crawford (17.6 ppg), junior guard Seth Hawley (13.7 ppg) and junior guard Tyler Williams (12.3) and freshman forward David Ward (11.6 ppg). Crawford leads the team in assists (4.6 apg).
UAFS averages 36 rebounds per game – three fewer than their opponents – and Ward leads the team in rebounds (6.3 rpg).
The Lions allow 74 points per game and force 15 turnovers per game. Crawford leads the team in steals (1.6 spg), and junior forward Matt Morgan leads the team in blocked shots (2.6 bpg).
Rogers State (5-2) has won three games in a row, and the Hillcats are coming off a 54-48 win against Puerto Rico-Rio Piedros at Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Hillcats went 2-0 during their trip to Puerto Rico, beating University of the Sacred Heart 81-69 in the first game of the road trip.
The Hillcats and the Lions do have two common opponents – Midwestern State and Colorado State-Pueblo. Rogers State beat Colorado State-Pueblo but lost to Midwestern State, while UAFS lost to Colorado State-Pueblo but beat Midwestern State (twice).
Rogers State averages 77 points per game with three players averaging double-figures in scoring – senior guard Tate Turner (11.6 ppg), junior guard Tavian Davis (10.7 ppg) and senior guard Saint Hilaire (10 ppg). Davis leads the team in assists (3.4 apg).
The Hillcats average 32 rebounds per game – two fewer than their opponents – and Hilaire leads the team in rebounds (5.7 rpg).
Rogers State allows 72 points per game and forces 16 turnovers per game. Davis leads the team in steals (1.9 spg), and junior guard Dawan Bass and sophomore guard/forward Brewster Peacock lead the team in blocked shots (0.4 bpg).\