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ORU Opens SLC Play at Southeastern Louisiana

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 01/01/2013
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TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University plays their first ever Southland Conference game on Thursday, January 3, 2013, when they face the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana. Tipoff at the University Center in Hammond, La., is scheduled for 5:15 pm CT.

Live radio coverage of the game is available on KYAL-AM 1550 in Tulsa and around the world at ORUGoldenEagles.com. Pregame coverage begins at 5:00 pm CT. Live video is available for a small fee on LionSports.net.

ORU is 3-7 on the 2012-13 season after falling to DePaul, 97-74, on December 28 in Chicago. Senior Kevi Luper paced the Golden Eagles with 17 points in the loss, hitting 3-of-4 three-point field goals, while sophomore Bernadett Balla came off the bench and had another strong reserve effort, contributing 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Golden Eagles shot 40.3% from the floor in the loss with an exceptional 51.9% field goal percentage after halftime, but DePaul set season highs for an ORU opponent in points (97), assists (29) and three-point field goals (13)

Senior Jaci Bigham collected nine points, six rebounds and five assists in the loss. With her first helper of the night Bigham passed Kim Ogden (1984-88) for 2nd place on ORU’s career list.

Southeastern Louisiana is 7-4 heading into Thursday’s game, but they have lost two of their last three contests. The Lions are coming off of a 106-41 loss to Baylor on December 26. Brandi Simmons led the Lions with 12 points in the defeat.

Aja Gibson leads the Lions with 11.5 points per game, while Simmons averages 11.0 points and a team-high 10.2 rebounds per game.

Southeastern has been especially tough at home, posting a 3-0 record with victories over Mobile, William Carey and future SLC member New Orleans.

Southeastern Head Coach Lori Davis Jones is 133-164 in her 11th season at the school, while ORU's Misti Cussen has a 3-7 career record.

Oral Roberts has never faced Southeastern Louisiana before their tilt on January 3. The Golden Eagles are 13-13 all-time against current members of the Southland Conference, last playing a current member of their new league on November 30, 2009, a 101-85 victory over Sam Houston State.

Luper scored 29 points in the 2009 victory over Sam Houston State, while Bigham had eight points and 12 assists.

ORU is 9-9 all-time in conference openers and has won their last three, including a 103-53 romp over Southern Utah in their final Summit League opener on December 3, 2011.

The Golden Eagles continue SLC play and finish their season-long six-game road trip on Saturday, January 5 when they face Nicholls State. Game time is set for 2 pm CT in Thibodaux, La.
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