DALLAS, Texas-Southern Methodist made six free throws in the final 29 seconds of overtime to hand Oral Roberts a 64-57 defeat in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, Wednesday at Moody Coliseum.
ORU ends the 2010-11 season with a 19-16 record.
The game reached overtime in mysterious fashion. With the score tied at 52-52 and time running out, Warren Niles (Cincinnatti, Ohio) missed a short jumper with seven seconds remaining and the shot clock almost expired. Ken Holdman (Tulsa, Okla.) grabbed the rebound and missed a put-back shot as the shot clock horn sounded. SMU's Papa Dia rebounded and heaved the ball the length of the court and out of bounds as SMU coach Matt Doherty was calling timeout.
With just :0.5 seconds remaining on the game clock the officials huddled and, after failing to reach a mutual conclusion on what exactly happened, they simply moved the game into overtime.
In the extra period back-to-back baskets by Damen Bell-Holter (Hydaburg, Alaska) and a jumper by Dominique Morrison (Kansas City, Mo.) gave the Golden Eagles a 57-54 lead with 2:12 remaining. But ORU failed to score again.
Dia hit a short jumper to trim the lead to 57-56 with 1:45 remaining, and Jeremiah Samarrippas hit a driving layup with 50 seconds left for a 58-57 advantage.
The Mustangs went 6-for-6 from the line down the stretch to seal the game.
The first half featured sluggish play by both teams, and also featured three ties and five lead changes. ORU's largest lead came early, 4-0. After the Golden Eagles gained a 12-9 advantage on a Niles layup with 8:44 left before halftime, the Mustangs went on a 15-5 run and took a 24-17 lead on a Robert Nyakundi jumper with 2:19 left.
The Golden Eagles, however, scored the final five points of the half to close the gap to 24-22 at halftime.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Niles and Morrison early in the second half tied the game at 28-28.
ORU didn't gain the lead in the second half until Niles' three-pointer from the left wing with 4:31 left, giving the Golden Eagles a 46-45 advantage. But SMU immediately answered when Collin Mangrum drained a three-pointer on the other end to give the lead back to the Mustangs, 48-46.
The Golden Eagles shot 39 percent for the game, hitting just 4-of-16 from three-point range. SMU was better at 46 percent overall, and made 18-of-22 at the free throw line.
Morrison led all scorers with 21 points, going 8-of-14 from the field and 4-of-7 from the free throw line. The junior forward also added eight rebounds while playing all 45 minutes.
Niles scored 13 but was 5-of-20 from the field, and Bell-Holter scored 10 with seven rebounds.
Dia led SMU with 17 points and 15 rebounds.