ORU Advances to Summit League Title Game with 83-77 Win Over IUPUI
Morrison was 7-of-16 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free throw line to not only help ORU (19-14) extend its winning streak to 10 games, but move the Golden Eagles one win from their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Warren Niles (Cincinnati, Ohio) added 20 points for the Golden Eagles in a wire-to-wire victory.
ORU took control of the game early on, grabbing a 12-7 lead on a Niles jumper with 16:00 left in the first half. The Jaguars (19-14) twice pulled to within two points before consecutive baskets by Damen Bell-Holter (Hydaburg, Alaska) and Steven Roundtree (Jacksonville, Fla.) made it 23-17 with 8:37 remaining.
The Golden Eagles surged over the final five minutes of the half. Niles canned a three-pointer for a 32-22 lead with 4:49 left and Morrison followed with a three-point play to give ORU a 35-22 lead with 4:06 to go.
IUPUI closed to within nine points when a three-pointer by Leroy Nobles pulled the Jags within 42-33 with 33 seconds before halftime but Kyron Stokes (Masnfield, Texas) answered with a three from the left corner just before the halftime buzzer as ORU went into the locker room with a 45-33 advantage.
ORU led by as many as 14 points three different times early in the second half, the last coming when a Ken Holdman (Tulsa, Okla.) jumper gave the Golden Eagles a 57-43 lead with 13:53 left. But ORU never truly shook the Jags until the closing minutes.
The Jaguars never got closer than nine points over the next 12 minutes and ORU eventually pulled away. Leading 69-60 with6:10 remaining, the Golden Eagles went on a 9-2 run over the next 4:39, taking a 78-62 lead on a pair of Morrison free throws with 1:31 to go.
While Morrison and Niles were the only Golden Eagles to score in double figures, several others turned in strong performances. Bell-Holter grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, adding eight points, three assists and three blocks. Roundtree scored nine points with eight boards, three assists and two steals. Holdman contributed seven points and four assists without a turnover in 30 minutes.
ORU shot 47.5 percent (29-61) for the game, but went just 21-of-33 from the free throw line. The Golden Eagles out-rebounded IUPUI, 39-37, and made just seven turnovers.
Alex Young scored 23 points for the Jaguars, who shot 46 percent from the field.