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Golden Eagles Take OT Victory in Summit Tourney Opener, 65-64

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 03/08/2010
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Photo by: ORU Media Relations
Dominique Morrison scored 16 points against North Dakota State.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Dominique Morrison (Kansas City, Mo.) scored seven of his team-high 16 points in overtime as Oral Roberts edged North Dakota State 65-64 in the opening round of the Summit League Tournament, Sunday at Sioux Falls Arena.

Playing an overtime tournament opener for the second straight year, the Golden Eagles (20-12) survived despite going more than 28 minutes without shooting a free throw and 27 percent second-half shooting. Third seeded ORU meets second seed IUPUI in the tournament semifinals, 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

Morrison started the overtime period with a three-pointer for a 59-56 lead, and Kevin Ford (Portland, Ore.) hit a layup to make it 61-56 with 4:05 left in overtime.

North Dakota State (11-18) cut the lead to 61-58 on Josh Vaughan's layup with 3:22 to go, but Morrison responded with a jumper 25 seconds later for a 63-58 lead.

A three-point play by NDSU's Michael Tveidt cut ORU's lead down to 63-61 with 2:35 left and Vaughan made one of two free throws at 1:57 to make it 63-62. But Morrison nailed another jumper with 1:36 to go for a 65-62 lead.

Neither team scored again until Sam Sussenguth hit a layup with 11 seconds left to pull NDSU within 65-64. Morrison was fouled on the inbounds pass and went to the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity - ORU's first trip to the charity stripe since Morrison completed a three-point play with 3:29 remaining in the first half.

Morrison missed the free throw and North Dakota State had one last chance, but Nate Zastrow's jumper missed to the left and ORU escaped with the victory.

The Golden Eagles led by as many as 13 points in the second half, the last time coming when a jumper by Warren Niles (Cincinnati, Ohio) gave ORU a 46-33 lead with 14:06 remaining in the game.

Sixth-seeded North Dakota State began its come back when Jordan Aaberg completed a three-point play to pull the Bison within 46-36 with 13:07 left. A three-point by Michael Tvedit trimmed ORU's lead to 50-41 and a layup by Sam Sussenguth with 8:24 to go moved NDSU to within 50-45.

ORU twice more gained a seven point lead, including a 54-47 advantage on a Niles layup with 6:08 to go. But the Golden Eagles didn't score again until for more than five minutes while NDSU chipped away at ORU's lead.
Five straight points by Tveidt tied the game at 54-54 with 1:05 left, but ORU's Damen Bell-Holter (Hydaburg, Alaska) rebounded a Morrison miss and scored with 30 seconds left for a 56-54 lead. Tveidt, however, tied the game with a short jumper with 14 seconds left and Morrison missed a jumper just before the buzzer as the game moved into overtime.

The Golden Eagles shot just 36 percent from the field but out-rebounded NDSU, 48-34.

Morrison finished 7-of-21 from the field and added eight rebounds and two assists to his point total. Niles scored 14 points while Michael Craion (Kansas City, Mo.) scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds before fouling out with 7:26 remaining in regulation.

NDSU's Tveidt led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting.



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