ORU Tripped by Houston Baptist, 84-75
The Golden Eagles had no answer for HBU’s Shanice Steenholdt. The senior, who scored 32 points at the Mabee Center last month in ORU’s 85-73 victory, came away with 27 points and 14 rebounds on Thursday night.
ORU was led by freshman Kaylan Mayberry, who recorded 18 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Christian Key added 17 for the Golden Eagles, while Bernadett Balla led the way with 10 rebounds.
HBU (11-13, 7-6 Southland Conference) shot 53.4% in the victory, while ORU shot at a 38.0% clip. Free throw shooting, which had plagued ORU in several non-conference losses, was again an issue as the Golden Eagles were just 18-of 29 (62.1%) from the line.
ORU got off on the wrong foot as the Huskies hit 10 of their first 13 shots. Steenholdt’s sixth basket in the game’s first eight minutes stretched HBU’s lead to 22-14 with 12:51 left in the half.
The Golden Eagles would whittle the lead down to two, but they trailed the entire 1st half. HBU’s Heidi Sihvola scored a put back at the buzzer to give the Huskies a 44-37 halftime edge.
The home team shot 51.6% in the opening half, while ORU was at a 38.2% clip. Steenholdt led all scorers with 20 points at the break, while Key and Jaervikangas paced the Golden Eagles with seven each.
The Huskies came out of the halftime break ready to extend their lead, with Steenholdt serving as the catalyst. The senior scored on the fast break, then stole the ball and assisted on a Rachel Arthur basket at the 17:30 mark to give HBU their largest lead, at 50-41.
The advantage moved into double-figures for the first time with 8:58 left. Steenholdt again orchestrated the fast break, linking up with Erin McGarrachan to make it 64-54, Huskies.
The deficit for ORU was never again in single digits until the final basket of the game, and they fell to .500 in Southland Conference play.
ORU completes the road trip on Saturday, February 15 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Game time at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi is booked for 1 pm CT.