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ORU Faces SLC-Leading Bearkats to Open Home Stand

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 02/12/2013
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TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University looks to chip away at Sam Houston State’s Southland Conference lead when they host the Bearkats on Thursday, February 14 inside of the Mabee Center. Tipoff between the two clubs is scheduled for 5 pm CT.

Live video coverage of Thursday’s matchup is available for ELIve subscribers on ORUGoldenEagles.com, while radio coverage is available on KYAL-AM 1550 and ORUGoldenEagles.com.

Oral Roberts (11-11, 8-4 SLC) occupies the third position in the SLC standings heading into Thursday’s game. Lamar is one game ahead of the Golden Eagles, at 9-3 in league play, while SHSU is in the top spot, at 9-2.

Oral Roberts buckled down for their tightest victory of the season, a 68-64 win over Stephen F. Austin on February 9 in Nacogdoches, Texas. ORU trailed by a single point, at 62-61, with 2:59 left in the game before closing the contest on a 7-2 run.

The Golden Eagles took the lead for good at the 2:18 mark on a pair of Jaci Bigham free throws, and the senior clinched the victory by hitting two more freebies with 13 seconds left.

Bigham scored 25 points and added eight assists in the win. The senior’s first helper of the game, on a Sarah Shelton basket just 1:33 into the tilt, was the 604th of her collegiate career, setting a new ORU record.

Kevi Luper led all scorers against SFA with 30 points in the win, going 14-for-25 from the floor. The 30-point effort was the 24th of Luper’s career and her first since November 29, 2012 at Missouri State.

The 30-point effort boosted Luper's scoring average up to 18.4 points per game, tied for the top of the Southland Conference rankings. Bigham leads the league with 6.9 assists per game, 7th-best in NCAA Division I.

The turnover battle was key in the victory, as ORU gave it away just 13 times and forced SFA into 25 turnovers. The Golden Eagles scored 29 of their 68 points directly off of Ladyjack turnovers.

Sam Houston State (13-10) fell to Lamar, 52-48, on February 9, losing a game off of their SLC lead.

Sequeena Thomas led the Bearkats with 16 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. On the season, Thomas leads the Southland Conference in rebounds per game, at 12.9.

Britini Martin scored 15 points in the loss to Lamar and leads Sam Houston with 17.0 points per game, 5th-best in the Southland Conference.

Saturday’s loss to Lamar snapped a six-game winning streak for Sam Houston, their longest of the season. It was their first SLC loss at home this year.

SHSU Head Coach Brenda Welch-Nichols is in her sixth season at SHSU, with a record of 73-125. ORU's Misti Cussen sports an 11-11 record in her first year.

Oral Roberts is 3-3 all-time against Sam Houston, with a 2-0 record at the Mabee Center. SHSU’s last trip to Tulsa was an 83-41 ORU win on December 29, 2008.

ORU fell to the Bearkats, 54-47, on January 19 in Huntsville, Texas. The Golden Eagles shot just 33.3% in the loss, with Bigham scoring 25 of the team’s 47 points. Thomas had 18 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Bearkats.

ORU plays their second game of the three-game home set on Saturday, February 16 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Game time is scheduled for 5 pm CT.
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