ORU Shackles TCU 78-74 in WNIT Opener
Fort Worth, TX—The Oral Roberts women’s basketball team tipped off WNIT action in style, advancing to the second round for the first time since 1982-83 with a 78-74 victory over a tough TCU squad Thursday evening at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Jordan Pyle led the way for the Golden Eagles, posting her 11th double-double of the year with 20 points and 13 boards, while shooting 10-14 from the floor and snagging four steals.
The host Horned Frogs jumped out to a quick start over ORU, sinking three-straight threes and moving in front 18-12 with 11:53 showing.
ORU survived the assault from deep and eventually battled back with a 9-2 run to take a 21-20 lead on a Kevi Luper steal and fastbreak layup with 7:16 on the ticker.
Finally finding their groove, the Golden Eagles built a four point cushion by the six minute mark, and held on to the advantage by trading buckets with TCU as time began to wind down in the opening stanza.
A hard-fought first half closed with Horned Frog fireworks however, as ORU missed a wide open layup on one end, and a desperation TCU half court heave to beat the buzzer found nothing but net for the hosts, who closed the deficit to just one point (38-37) heading into the break.
Coming out for the final 20 minutes a determined ORU team would not be denied. The Golden Eagles matched TCU bucket-for-bucket in the early going, and ultimately exploded on a 20-9 run that ended in another Luper layup in the paint to put the guests in front 65-52.
Just when it looked like the Golden Eagles were about to run away with it, TCU scrambled up just enough offense to keep it interesting.
TCU whittled the lead to just five with 4:40 to go, and looked to be capturing some much needed momentum, when Jaci Bigham put the lid on any Horned Frog hopes by draining a three-ball from the left wing that silenced the crowd and put ORU back in the driver’s seat.
The hosts had one more run left in them, cutting the deficit to two (74-72) with just over a minute to go, but four-straight Luper free throws sparked ORU to their 22nd win of the year and on to the second round.
Luper finished with 26 points, seven boards and five steals in the victory.
Dominique Allen added nine points, 10 rebounds and a block.
TCU’s Emily Carter led all scoreres with 30 points and six assists.
ORU will be back in action on Monday, as they host Tulane at 7:00 p.m. in the Mabee Center.