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ORU Shows Late Grit in 62-55 Win over Lamar

ORU Shows Late Grit in 62-55 Win over Lamar


Oral Roberts University buckled down late and powered through a spirited Lamar comeback effort to down the Lady Cardinals, 62-55, on Saturday afternoon at the Montagne Center. The win gives ORU (15-12, 12-5 Southland Conference) a season sweep over Lamar (19-8, 11-5 SLC).

Kevi Luper was 8-for-8 from the free throw line and scored 21 points to lead the Golden Eagles, while Taylor Cooper added 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

Seven of Cooper's 16 points came in the game's final eight minutes, including a pair of huge three-pointers and a late dagger with less than a minute on the clock.

Savanna Buck chipped in nine points and six boards and set career high with five assists and six steals. Cooper and Luper blocked three shots each.

Lamar was led by senior Kalis Loyd, who scored 24 points in her final home game. Dominique Edwards added 15 points, while Alice Robinson was scoreless but led all players with 11 rebounds.

ORU shot 42.0% from the floor, including a 45.8% clip in the second half, while Lamar shot just 24.6% as a team.

ORU took control of the first half with an 11-0 spurt midway through the half. Sarah Shelton's first basket of the day capped the run and gave the Golden Eagles a 26-19 lead with 6:28 left in the half.

But Lamar ended the half on a 12-6 run. A Gia Ayers three-pointer, the final bucket of the half, gave the Lady Cardinals a 33-32 lead going into the halftime locker room.

Luper battled through a 3-for-9 period to lead all scorers with 13 points at the break. ORU turned the ball over 15 times in the first half and was whistled for 12 fouls.

ORU used a 6-0 run to take a 38-35 lead early in the second half, but the Lady Cardinals were ready with an answer. Eleven straight points from the home team, capped by a Loyd three-pointer at the 12:43 mark, gave Lamar their largest lead, at 46-38.

But the Golden Eagles would not go away. Five different ORU players scored a field goal as part of a 13-0 run that gave the road side a 51-46 lead. Minutes later, Shelton scored off of a Buck feed to give ORU a seven-point lead, at 55-48, with 4:59 left.

Lamar used a full-court press to nearly stage a comeback, but the Golden Eagles would not back down. A spinning jumper by Cooper with just 22 seconds left iced the win for ORU, giving them a 62-55 victory.

Misti Cussen's club now trails Sam Houston State (12-4 SLC) by a half-game for the Southland lead. The Bearkats have two games remaining on their regular season schedule, while ORU has just one.

ORU will close the regular season on Saturday, March 9 against Central Arkansas. Tipoff in Conway, Ark., is scheduled for 2 pm CT.

Box Score
ORU Throttles Evangel, 96-34
December 5, 2012 ORU Throttles Evangel, 96-34
UALR Tops Oral Roberts, 79-47
November 22, 2012 UALR Tops Oral Roberts, 79-47