ORU women win in rout of Southeastern Louisiana
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 03, 2013
2/03/13 at 7:07 AM
The Oral Roberts women's basketball team capped a four-game homestand with a 90-48 wipeout Saturday of Southeastern Louisiana.
By going 3-1 during the homestand, ORU evened its record at 10-10 and improved to 7-3 in Southland Conference games. The Golden Eagles moved into a two-way tie for second place, one game ahead of Central Arkansas (stunned at home for the second consecutive game) and one-half game ahead of McNeese State, which plays a Sunday home game against Northwestern State.
Here's something else that happened during the homestand: ORU shot 50 percent from the field and opponents shot 33 percent. What does that mean?
"That we need to get the conference tournament here at the Mabee Center," coach Misti Cussen said.
To be clear, the Southland's postseason tournament will be in Katy, Texas. And, just past the midpoint of the league season, Cussen said she has a team that seems to be coming into its own, thanks in part to the homestand.
"This is the first time we have been able to enjoy two full weeks (at home) back-to-back, not only being in the Mabee Center for games, but sleeping in our beds and being able to come down and get extra shooting time and everything else."
Cussen said the extra work has paid dividends for players like Kevi Luper and Christian Key, who accompanied the coach to a postgame press conference.
Key hit 6-of-9 shots from 3-point range on her way to a career-best 22 points. Luper added 19 on a night when all five ORU starters scored in double figures.
Sarah Shelton collected 14 points and 10 rebounds in only 23 minutes of court time. Taylor Cooper scored 12 points. Jaci Bigham scored 13 points and dished nine assists - and her team raced to such a runaway victory that her 10 turnovers were a non-factor.
Southeastern Louisiana fell to 9-12 overall and 2-7 in league play. The Lady Lions were coming off their biggest win of the season (over defending regular season champ Central Arkansas) and followed it with their second-most lopsided defeat of the season. They lost by 45 points to Baylor.
ORU defeated Nicholls State by 28 points two days earlier, but Cussen thought her team was flat in that game. She challenged players to bring more emotion. The Golden Eagles burst out of the gates with a 25-2 lead and, instead of going into cruise control, continued to play well in securing their most lopsided victory over a Division I opponent this season.
"We're pretty confident right now and we are at home and shooting the ball good," Key said. "It's just flowing."
Original Print Headline: ORU women win in rout
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Christian Key: ORU guard scored a career-high 22 points in Saturday's win