This is the final edition of the Top Moments from 2012-13 as selected by the ORU Media Relations Department and a social media poll.
TULSA, Okla. – The 2012-13 Oral Roberts University women’s basketball team was able to do something that no other team had; win the conference’s regular season and tournament championship. In two of the three seasons leading up to this year, ORU had won the regular season championship, only to find heartbreak in the tournament.
With a group of seniors including All-American Kevi Luper, Jaci Bigham and Savanna Buck, first year Head Coach Misti Cussen’s group was determined not to have the same fate.
After having four different things fall their way on the final day of the regular season to claim the championship, the group continued momentum into the tournament that held a couple of tough tests, including two-time defending tournament champion McNeese State, a team that had swept ORU in the regular season.
A total team effort, ORU had five players score in double figures, including Bigham and Luper who each had 17. With nearly 10 minutes to play, Luper fouled out of the game, leaving ORU without its All-American in a do-or-die game. Christian Key stepped up and high a pair of 3-pointers that helped ORU to a 12-0 run, giving the Golden Eagles a 16-point lead (69-53) with five minutes to play.
After knocking off the defending champs, ORU had to face the second-seeded Bearkats from Sam Houston State, a team that finished tied for the regular season championship, and a team that wanted revenge after taking a 50 point beating at the Mabee Center earlier in the year.
It would not be nearly that easy with a championship on the line, and ORU had just a five point lead, 30-25, at halftime. SHSU made a charge in the second half and took a 45-41 lead with just over 11 minutes to play.
That is when the Golden Eagles found another gear and rattled off a 7-0 run, including a 3-point play for Bigham, to retake the lead. The Bearkats were not done and took another lead with five minutes to play.
Buck hit a jumper with 2:27 to play to give ORU a 61-59 lead, and then put the clamps on defensively, holding SHSU without a field goal for the remainder of the game.
Getting chances at the free throw line late, ORU hit 11 of the final 12 free throw attempts to seal the victory and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
“You really couldn’t have scripted it any better,” said Buck after the win. “Winning this along with Jaci and Kevi and for Coach Cussen is truly a blessing.”
Honorable Mention: Men's Track Finishes 20th at NCAA Outdoor Championship; MBB Has Two NABC All-District Selections for First Time in School HIstory; M. Tennis' Fabian Zierleyn Takes Down Top Arkansas Player; Baseball Beats SLU For Coach Folmar's First Career Victory.