Oral Roberts unable to hold off Oklahoma late run
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Thursday, November 29, 2012
11/29/12 at 3:33 AM
Related story: Second-half rally lifts OU past ORU.
Oral Roberts lost a 10-point second-half lead and a 24-game homecourt winning streak in regular season games.
ORU, playing host to Oklahoma for only the fourth time in series history (and for the first time since 1995), led for the bulk of the game and was ahead 54-44 with 9:08 remaining.
But the Golden Eagles went cold at game's end, making only four baskets the rest of the way, and absorbed a 63-62 defeat.
It was ORU's first loss at the Mabee Center in a regular season game at the Mabee Center since dropping a Dec. 30, 2010, game to Oakland.
"Tough loss," ORU coach Scott Sutton said. "It never gets easy losing those type of games."
Sutton said the Golden Eagles made too many mistakes to beat a good team. He cited careless turnovers and rebounding issues (ORU allowed OU to collect 18 offensive rebounds).
And, in spite of it all, ORU still had a shot to win.
Shawn Glover scored 17 points, one shy of a season-high, and he got 10 of them after halftime. Sutton chose to ride the hot hand with the game on the line.
Here's the situation: Steven Roundtree hit a basket and was fouled with 18.8 seconds left. He could have tied the score with a free throw, but missed and the rebound was collected by Glover.
Sutton said the Golden Eagles ran a final play for Glover, who had created mismatch problems for Sooner defenders. The plan was for Glover to drive the middle and try to score or pitch the ball to teammates in the event that he attracted extra defenders.
Sutton said the Sooners did a good job of forcing Glover to the baseline. Glover missed a shot in the closing seconds ("He got a clean look and it just didn't bounce our way," Sutton said) and the ball was rebounded by Romero Osby, who was fouled and missed two free throws with 1.4 seconds left.
"Shawn, he's a good player and we wanted him to take that shot," Roundtree said. "We took it at a good time so we would be able to (have time to) get a rebound. We just weren't in the right position to rebound and go right back up with it."
So, OU ended one streak and continued another. The Sooners have won 13 consecutive games in the series since ORU launched the series with wins in 1976 and 1977.
This game was only the second in series history to be decided by single digits since the Sooners won a first-round NIT game at the Mabee Center in 1982.
Warren Niles led ORU with 19 points. He entered the game ranked fourth nationally in 3-point percentage (.606) and started hot, but finished 7-of-16 from the field and 2-of-9 from 3-point range. The last of his points came with 6:59 remaining, when the Golden Eagles held a 56-50 advantage. He missed a desperation shot from beyond halfcourt at the final buzzer.
Original Print Headline: Oral Roberts unable to hold off Oklahoma
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Oklahoma's Romero Osby heads to the basket as he is guarded Oral Roberts' Steven Roundtree during Wednesday's game. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World