Bigham leads Eagles over S.F. Austin
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2013
1/13/13 at 6:30 AM
Oral Roberts, which leads the Southland Conference in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage, played out of character at the start of a 63-56 victory Saturday over Stephen F. Austin.
Fortunately for the Golden Eagles, so did Jaci Bigham.
The senior point guard leads the Southland Conference and ranks seventh nationally in assists.
But, after ORU started 0-of-10 from the field, it was Bigham who broke the ice by sinking a shot 14:30 before halftime. The Golden Eagles were 1-of-15 before making their second basket. That one was courtesy of Bigham, too.
"Obviously a lot of teams in our conference know that's what I want to do is get the ball to my teammates, but we were not hitting," Bigham said after matching a season-high with 17 points.
So, she decided to take advantage of what the defense gave her, at least until teammates heated up.
Bigham, who scored 13 of ORU's first 26 points, eventually got around to what she does best, finishing with 10 assists (she has 10 or more in each of the last four games) and quarterbacking an offense that had only seven turnovers.
Junior guard Christian Key, who matched a season-high with 17 points in her previous game, scored a career-high 20 points and was 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the second game of a homestand as ORU improved to 6-8 overall and 3-1 in conference games.
"My teammates are just getting me good looks," Key said.
Bigham overheard Key and interjected this: "I think it's a little bit of Christian, too."
ORU coach Misti Cussen wasn't worried about the early misses. She said she couldn't have been happier with her team's shot selection to start the game.
"There was just a lid on the basket," she said.
Or at least there was until Bigham pried it off. By 5:58 of the first half, she was 4-of-6 from the field and the rest of the Golden Eagles were 4-of-21. Perhaps it was a good omen that ORU still managed a 24-21 lead. The Golden Eagles shot 25 percent in the first half and led by a point.
Porsha Roberts, who last season was named the Southland Conference's preseason freshman of the year, produced 16 points and 13 rebounds for Stephen F. Austin (6-10, 1-4).
LaNesha Middleton, a freshman forward from Stillwater and the daughter of OSU's men's basketball assistant Steve Middleton, made her second start and first since the season opener.
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389