This is the sixth of 15 editions of the Top Moments from 2012-13 as selected by the ORU Media Relations Department and a social media poll.
TULSA, Okla. – With one game to play in the regular season, the Southland Conference Championship, and tournament seedings, were still very much up in the air.
Needing four games on March 9 to all fall the right way, the only one ORU could control was its own. Facing eventual SLC Player of the Year Megan Herbert, and the Sugar Bears of Central Arkansas on the road on senior night, taking care of business would not be easy. With 20 points and nine rebounds from Taylor Cooper, 15 points, six assists and seven steals from Jaci Bigham, and 10 points off the bench for Savanna Buck, ORU got the 15-point victory (68-53), giving ORU its third regular season conference title in four years.
While the Golden Eagles were playing, fans, administrators, and even coaches were watching scores from across the league to see if the Golden Eagles would get the necessary help. To start, then-leader Sam Houston State lost to Northwestern State, meaning an ORU win put the two teams in a tie for first place and it would come down to tie breakers.
With McNeese and Lamar possibly tying for third, the only way for ORU to get the edge would be for Lamar to finish in sole possession of third place. Because the Golden Eagles swept them in the regular season, ORU would earn the top seed in the tournament. Lamar rolled past Southeastern Louisiana, meaning a McNeese loss to Nicholls State was the last remaining piece of the puzzle. The preseason favorites and two-time defending tournament champions from McNeese went down, and Lamar finished the year in third.
Four things—some very unlikely—needed to go in ORU’s favor, and four things did. By the time the Golden Eagles got to the locker room they knew they had won the regular season championship and would be the top seed at Merrell Madness.