ORU Faces Northwestern in Windy City Showdown
TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University returns from a 12-day exam break and looks to end a six-game losing streak when they face Northwestern University on Monday, December 16. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 am CT in Evanston, Ill., and live radio coverage is available on both KYAL-AM 1550 and ORUGoldenEagles.com.
Live video of Monday's game is also available at NUSports.com.
ORU (1-6) is almost two weeks removed from their last outing, an 86-64 loss at Missouri on December 4. The Golden Eagles battled their Southeastern Conference opponent for a full 40 minutes in perhaps their best performance of the young season. But the Tigers hit 17 three-pointers, a single-game ORU opponent record, to leave with the 22-point win.
Freshman Dorottya Balla continued her fine run of play against Missouri, scoring a team-high 15 points off the bench. Balla is averaging 12.3 points per game in her last three contests and has set a personal high in each of the team’s last three games.
Junior Bernadett Balla, sister of Dorottya, made her season debut against Missouri after missing six games with a foot injury. The elder Balla scored seven points and added five rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
ORU’s leading scorer through seven games is senior Christian Key, who ranks 29th in the Southland Conference with 10.6 points per game. Freshman Alexus Wilson, who has started the team’s last three games, ranks second on the team with 10.4 points per game.
Senior Sarah Shelton scored 11 points in the Mizzou loss, and she added a team-high six rebounds. The Ft. Worth, Texas native has led ORU in rebounding in each of the team’s first seven games, and she ranks 5th in the Southland with 8.9 rebounds per game.
Northwestern is 6-2 heading into the weekend after falling to North Carolina State, 76-61, on December 5. The Wildcats will have a short break before the ORU game, as they face fellow Chicago school Loyola (Ill.) on Saturday, December 14.
Freshman Nia Coffey has been Northwestern’s top performer through eight games, averaging 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore Maggie Lyon averages 12.4 points per game, while freshman Ashley Deary has dished a team-best 52 assists.
ORU and Northwestern have never before faced off on the basketball court. The Golden Eagles are 2-9 against current Big Ten Conference members, most recently falling to Nebraska, 80-67, on December 20, 2012. The Wildcats have not played a current Southland Conference member since November 20, 2008, a 68-60 victory over Houston Baptist.
A win on Monday would be ORU’s first victory over a current Big Ten Conference opponent since an 80-63 victory over Wisconsin on November 13, 2011. ORU's other Big Ten victory came against Michigan State, 70-69, on December 29, 1977.
A victory would also snap ORU’s six-game losing streak. The Golden Eagles have not lost seven consecutive games since opening the 1997-98 season on a 14-game skid.
ORU will stay in the Chicago area after Monday's game and will make the short ride to Milwaukee, Wis., on Wednesday, December 16, for a matchup with Marquette. Tip time of that game is booked for 12 pm CT.