ORU Loses Overtime Thriller at Marquette, 79-71
Dorottya Balla and Christian Key scored 19 points each to lead ORU, with Balla reaching a career high in scoring. Sarah Shelton paced the club with eight rebounds, while Key dished a team-high five assists.
Arlesia Morse came off the bench to lead Marquette (8-2) with 28 points. Cristina Bigica added 11 points while Katie Young notched a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Rebounding was a big factor in Marquette’s win. The home team collected 57 boards, including 23 on the offensive glass, while ORU finished with 34. Young led all players with 12 rebounds, with Apiew Ojulu and Lauren Tibbs securing 11 each.
Wednesday’s game featured several monumental swings of momentum, with ORU dominating the game out of the gates. A three-pointer by Alexus Wilson staked the visitors to an early 13-1 lead at the 13:57 mark of the 1st half.
ORU maintained the lead throughout the first half, as Misti Cussen’s defense pressured Marquette into poor shooting. The largest lead of the game for ORU came 3:46 before halftime, as a Balla jumper made it 31-17.
Marquette was able to draw closer before halftime, but ORU still led, 34-25, at the intermission. The home team shot just 23.1% (9-for-39) in the opening period, while ORU fired at a 52.2% (12-for-23) clip.
But it was Marquette’s turn to grab control out of the halftime locker room. MU scored the first 11 points of the half, capped by a Young basket that gave the hosts their first lead, 36-34, at the 16:33 mark.
Young canned two free throws with 4:37 remaining to give Marquette their first double-digit lead, at 60-50. A three-pointer by Brooklyn Pumroy made the gap 63-50 with 3:48 left, and it looked like the heavily-favored home team was headed to victory.
But ORU sprung to life down the stretch, rediscovering their groove in time to force an extra period. Oral Roberts closed the 2nd half on a 14-1 run, tying the game at 64-all on a Key jumper with :06 left. When Pumroy missed a desperation three-ball at the buzzer, the game was headed for five more minutes.
Unfortunately for Oral Roberts, those five minutes were Marquette’s best of the game offensively. The home team scored the first six points of the period and hit five of their nine field goal attempts. Marquette won the overtime period, 15-7, and escaped the Al McGuire Center with an eight-point win.
The overtime game was the first for ORU since a 73-72 loss at Missouri State on December 5, 2012.
For the game, ORU shot 40.3% (25-for-62) while Marquette finished at a 36.7% (29-for-79) clip.
Oral Roberts will complete their non-conference schedule on Sunday, December 29, when they face nationally-ranked Nebraska. Tipoff in Lincoln, Neb., is scheduled for 2 pm CT.