Purdy alumna rising college hoops star

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Purdy standout and Wayne State College point guard Addy Roller makes a pass into the corner for the Lady Wildcats. Roller, a sophomore, leads the team in assists. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Former Lady Eagle leads Wayne State in assists

SEARCY, Ark. -- It has become a family tradition for Addy Roller and her father Mike to talk on the phone prior to every Wayne State College Lady Wildcats basketball game.

"Dad will call and wish me luck and ask me how things are going," Roller said.

On Thursday night, Roller's father had a surprise for her. Mike informed Addy that a bus load of her friends and family were making the five-hour trip from Purdy to Searcy, Ark., to see her play in the opening round of the Division 2 Central Region Tournament.

"When dad told me last night that they were having a bus from Purdy come down, I got really emotional," Roller said. "It meant a lot. I haven't seen everyone in a while. It made playing just that much better to look up and see that loud support system whether from Purdy or Nebraska."

Addy Roller gets free for a 3-pointer for the Wayne State College Lady Wildcats in the Division 2 Central Region quarterfinal game against Pittsburg State on Friday. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Roller, a 2012 graduate of Purdy High School, was one of southwest Missouri's most accomplished athletes. When she graduated, her name was etched in the top 25 of 19 state statistical categories including:

Holding the Missouri basketball record for career 3-point field goals made (319), 3-point field goals made in a season (120), consecutive games with a made 3-point attempt goal (39) and average made 3-point attempts per game (2.75).

Roller's other record-worthy achievements included:

* Fourth all-time with 3.73 made 3-pointers per game in a season.

* Third all-time with 2.57 made 3-pointers per game in a career.

* Tied for eighth all-time with 97 treys made in a season.

* Tied for the state record for most 3-pointers made in a quarter with five.

* Tied for the state record in free-throw percentage going 16 for 16 from the line against Fair Grove.

* Tied for eighth with the most points in a quarter with 20.

For her outstanding efforts on the basketball court, Roller was named 2012 Class 2 Player of the Year by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association. She was a three-time Class 2 All-State selection and achieved 2,392 career points.

"I have been blessed to have great family support," Roller said. "Their support has been a key to my success."

Upon graduation, Roller signed with Wayne State College, in Wayne, Neb., where she cracked the starting lineup of a nationally-ranked team as a freshman and averaged 6.2 points and 4.6 assists per game.

This season, she solidified her grip at the team's point guard position starting every game. She increased her production with 8.8 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. She shot 42 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range and 88 percent at the foul line.

Roller led the Lady Wildcats in assists (145) and steals (48). She handed out a career-best 11 assists at Minnesota-Duluth on Feb. 1, and she has eight more games with seven or eight assists during the regular season.

"I can't find the right words to describe what Addy means to this team," said Chris Kieismeier, Wayne State coach. "She is such a mature player. We had her on the floor 35 of today's 40 minutes. That tells you what I think of her abilities."

On Friday, Roller helped lead the Lady Wildcats to a 83-77 win over Pittsburg (Kan.) State in the opening round of the Central Region Tournament.

The Lady Wildcats blew a 16-point, 46-30 halftime lead against the Gorillas and fell behind 65-64 with 7:39 left in regulation forcing Kieismeier to take a timeout.

"I tried to get my team to stay calm," Kieismeier said. "It takes a special team to win games on this level. To have a lead that big, to give it away -- I think a lot of teams would panic in those situations. But we hit shots and got stops."

After the timeout, Roller dished out an assist to Ashton Yossi that helped the squad regain the lead. On the next possession, she dished out another assist to grow the advantage back to 3 points. Wayne was never seriously challenged again.

Roller finished the game with 7 points, eight assists and one steal.

"I really didn't get nervous on the floor," Roller said. "I like playing in the big game. I just want to help my team win games."

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