The Crusaders, ranked #21 in NAIA-I, held a 59-57 lead with 4:06 remaining. A pair of lay-ups down the stretch by J.J. Williams and free throws from Zack Kleine helped Evangel pull away and give Rogers State their first loss of the season.
Kleine and Williams finished with 15 points each while Jayme Donnelly had 13, all in the first half, for the Crusaders.
Rogers State jumped in front early leading Evangel 13-2 in the first five minutes of the game before the Crusaders responded and took the lead, 21-20 with 9:13 left in the half. Evangel led 38-29 at halftime but the Hillcats opened the second half with a 12-2 run to take a 41-40 lead.
Donald Williams led Rogers State with 17 points.
Evangel shot 51 percent from the field connecting on 23 of 45 shots while Rogers State, a team that had been shooting 53 percent from the field on the season, hit 21 of 54 for 39 percent. Evangel out-rebounded their opponent for the eighth straight game owning a 33-27 rebound advantage. The game was a rematch of last season's NAIA-I National Tournament second round game won by the Hillcats 69-63 over the Crusaders.
Evangel won their seventh straight game improving to 7-1 while Rogers St. dropped to 7-1.
Evangel plays the host team, second ranked Oklahoma Baptist, on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Shanwee, Oklahoma.