Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oral Roberts downs Sam Houston; earns NCAA tournament bid

The Oral Roberts band and cheerleaders were on hand to
support the Golden Eagles in Katy.
Photo by Robert H Kelly

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2013 TexSport Publications

KATY, TEXAS (March 16, 2013) With four players scoring in double-digits, the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles won the Southland Conference women’s basketball tournament by downing the Sam Houston State Bearkats, 72-66 at the Frank J Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.

With the win, the Golden Eagles earned a berth in the NCAA tournament which will begin next week.

Led by tournament MVP Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts controlled the game with a balanced attack, shooting 20-of-50 from the field and 23-of-33 from the free throw line.

Luper, who played the entire 40 minutes, shot 8-of-19 from the floor, including two 3-pointers.

The Golden Eagles also had three more players scoring in double figures.

Jaci Bigham scored 17 points, with Taylor Cooper and Savana Buck adding 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Cooper led the team with seven rebounds with Bigham snatching six and Sarah Shelton accounting for five.

But it was Luper who highlighted the show.

She was perfect from the free throw line, 8-of-8, in addition to four steals and five assists.

Bigham was also a force to be reckoned with from the free throw line.

She connected on 10-of-11 and picked the pocket of Sam Houston five times.

As a result, she joined Luper on the all-tournament team

For Sam Houston, Sequeena Thomas hooked up for 18 points, with Britni Martin adding 15 and Chanice Smith scoring 13.

Thomas and Angela Beadle, who had, eleven rebounds, were also named to the all-Tournament team in addition to McNeese State’s Ashlyn Baggett.

The Golden Eagles will now have to wait until Sunday night to see who they face in the first round of The Dance.

Oral Roberts has been to the NCAA tournament five times, with their last appearance coming in 2008, where the lost to No. 1 Tennessee, 94-55.

Game stats can be viewed by clicking here.

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