Late Mistakes Cost ORU in 67-63 Loss
ORU was held scoreless for the game’s final 2:51, while Northwestern State (8-13, 4-7 SLC) ended the game on an 8-2 run.
Kevi Luper scored a team-high 19 points, and Jaci Bigham added 16. Bigham was credited with just two assists on the night and is now tied with Leah Cannon for the ORU career record, at 603.
Keisha Lee scored 19 points for the Lady Demons, and fellow freshman guard Janelle Perez scored 17. Jasmine Upchurch chipped in 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Demons entered the game shooting just 37.0% from the floor and 28.6% from three-point range in their first 20 games, but they shot 61.9% overall and 53.3% from three-point land in Thursday’s win.
The Lady Demons came out hot, hitting five of their first nine three-pointers. A trey from Perez at the 12:37 mark gave the home team a 16-11 lead.
But the Golden Eagles scored seven straight to take the lead. A steal-and-score from Savanna Buck put ORU ahead, 18-16, with 10:47 left in the half.
The first half was exceptionally close and was tied at the conclusion of the opening 20 minutes. A three-pointer from Jasmine Bradley evened the score at 37-all.
Northwestern State shot the ball at a 63.6% clip in the opening half, with Lee scoring a team-high 12 points. Bigham led the Golden Eagles with 14 points.
The Golden Eagles took a 50-45 lead, their largest of the game, with 13:07 remaining, but they could never put distance between themselves and Northwestern State. That came back to haunt Misti Cussen’s team with 6:31 left, when Bradley hit a layup to give the home team a 59-57 lead.
The Lady Demons took the lead for good with 4:38 remaining, as Perez hit a contested, no-look three-pointer to give NSU a 62-61 edge.
ORU missed their final four shots and turned the ball over twice in the game’s final four minutes to suffer their fourth conference loss of the season.
Overall, the teams swapped the lead 14 times and were tied on 13 occasions.
The Golden Eagles will try to get back in the win column on Saturday afternoon, when they face Stephen F. Austin. Tipoff in Nacogdoches, La., is scheduled for 3:30 pm CT.