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ORU Faces Defending National Champion Baylor

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 12/10/2012
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TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University will face their toughest test of the 2012-13 season on Wednesday, Dec. 12, when they take on No. 3/3 Baylor University. Tip-off at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas is scheduled for 6 pm CT.

Wednesday’s game will be televised live on Fox Sports Southwest Plus. Live radio coverage is available on KYAL-AM 1550 in Tulsa and around the world at ORUGoldenEagles.com.

Oral Roberts (3-3) completely dominated Evangel on Dec. 5, taking a 96-34 victory at the Mabee Center. Misti Cussen’s team held the Crusaders to only nine field goals, a new ORU program record for fewest field goals allowed in one game.

The 62-point romp marked the 7th-largest margin of victory in ORU women’s basketball victory.

Jaci Bigham tallied her fifth career double-double in the victory, racking up 17 points and 11 assists. The senior also grabbed seven steals, matching a career high. Bigham became the 3rd player in ORU history to cross the 500-assist mark in the win.

Kevi Luper played just 21 minutes in the game but still managed to contribute 22 points and a season-high eight steals. Luper became the 74th player in NCAA Division I history to top 2,400 career points and the 24th player in DI history to top 400 career steals in the win.

For her performance, Bigham was named Southland Conference Player of the Week. The weekly honor is the fifth in Bigham's career and her first since being named Summit League Player of the Week on Nov. 30, 2010.

Baylor is 7-1 on the season and has won five consecutive games. The Bears are coming off of a 73-61 nationally-televised victory over No. 5 Notre Dame on Dec. 5 in South Bend, Ind.

Baylor entered the season ranked No. 1 after going 40-0 and capturing the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

Reigning consensus national player of the year Brittney Griner had 24 points and 14 rebounds in the victory over Notre Dame and currently leads the Bears with 21.4 points per game. Griner has scored 2,596 career points and blocked 617 shots; she is the first player in NCAA Division I basketball history to record 2,000 points and 600 blocks in a career. The senior is just 46 blocks shy of the NCAA career record.

The Bears had their 42-game winning streak snapped on Nov. 16 with a 71-69 loss to current No. 1 Stanford in Honolulu. Preseason All-America selection Odyssey Sims strained her hamstring in the first five minutes of the Stanford loss and has not played since, missing four consecutive games.

Baylor crushed Southland Conference opponent Lamar in their Nov. 9 season-opener, 80-34, and will host fellow SLC team Southeastern Louisiana on December 29.

Baylor Head Coach Kim Mulkey is 345-80 in her 13th season as a collegiate head coach and led the Bears to National Championships in 2005 and 2012.

ORU's Cussen is 3-3 in her first season as Head Coach.

Oral Roberts is 2-5 all-time against Baylor and has lost their last five meetings with the Bears. ORU has never beaten Baylor in Waco.

ORU’s last win over the Bears was an 86-73 triumph on Dec. 13, 1987 in Pullman, Wash.

The Golden Eagles and Baylor last squared off on Dec. 16, 2009 in Waco, with the 5th-ranked Bears taking a 101-76 victory. Luper tallied 32 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the loss, while Griner led the Bears with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks.

ORU is 5-48 all-time against teams ranked in the top-25 and has lost 39 straight games against ranked opponents. Their last victory over a ranked team came on January 8, 1986, a 78-75 victory over No. 25 Kansas State at the Mabee Center.

The closest ORU has come to toppling a ranked opponent over their current 39-game losing streak was a 70-64 loss to No. 7 Oklahoma on March 17, 2001, in an NCAA Tournament game.

The Golden Eagles continue their road trip on Friday, Dec. 14 in Ruston, La., when they face Louisiana Tech. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm CT.
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