ORU Goes Cold, Falls 58-53 to Islanders
Alexus Wilson led ORU with 13 points, while Dorottya Balla scored 11. Sister Bernadett Balla added her best game of the season so far, scoring nine points and pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.
Jasmine Shaw was the lone player in double-figures for the Islanders (8-5, 1-1 SLC). Texas A&M-Corpus Christi shot just 35.1%, but they only turned the ball over 12 times.
For the second straight game, ORU raced out to an early advantage only to give it all back. A Dorottya Balla layup at the 15:40 mark of the first half gave ORU an 11-2 lead, and the Golden Eagles maintained a comfortable margin for most of the half.
But the Islanders closed the gap late in the period, going into the locker room down just 29-27. A prolonged 13-1 run, capped by a Brandi Huff three-point play with 18:07 remaining, gave the visitors a 32-29 lead. The play was especially important because it sent ORU center Sarah Shelton to the bench with four personal fouls.
ORU would regain the lead, but the contest turned for good at the 8:27 mark, when Shelton fouled out of the game. The disqualification aided a 12-0 run by the Islanders, who took a 48-40 lead on a Huff jumper with 5:59 left. ORU went scoreless for 7:10 as part of the run.
The Golden Eagles would never lead again. A Kaylan Mayberry three-pointer cut the gap to 54-53 with 1:30 on the clock, but ORU would get no closer. Shaw scored six points and grabbed a crucial steal with less than a minute to play to help seal the win. The Golden Eagles did have a shot to tie the game with :08 left, but Christian Key’s three-pointer was wide right, and the Islanders escaped with the victory.
Key dished six assists, matching a career high for the second straight game, while Shelton blocked two shots. Saturday’s game was the first of the season in which the senior didn’t lead ORU in rebounding.
The Golden Eagles complete their three-game home stand on Saturday, January 11 against Central Arkansas. Tip time at the Mabee Center is scheduled for 3 pm CT, and tickets are available by calling 495-7ORU.