Late Rally Comes Up Short, Golden Eagles Fall to IUPUI, 69-65

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Oral Roberts rallied from a 21-point second half deficit but ran out of gas in the final minutes, falling to IUPUI, 69-65, in the Summit League Tournament semifinals Monday at Sioux Falls Arena.

IUPUI (24-9) led 50-29 with 17:00 left and held a 56-37 advantage with 11:47 remaining before ORU (20-13) made its comeback.

Using a half court trap and press, the Golden Eagles got back in the game. Michael Craion (Kansas City, Mo.) scored 10 of his game-high 20 points over the next 5:40 as part of an 18-2 run as ORU pulled to within 58-55 with 6:07 to go.

After a breakaway dunk by IUPUI’s Robert Glenn made it 60-55 with 5:54 to go, the Golden Eagles scored the next six points and took their first lead since midway through the first half when a pair of Dominique Morrison (Kansas City, Mo.) free throws gave ORU a 61-60 lead with 4:22 to go.

But barely 24 hours after winning an overtime contest with North Dakota State the Golden Eagles lost some steam. IUPUI broke the press after Morrison’s free throws and Billy Pettiford converted a layup with 3:30 left for a 62-61 IUPUI lead. After Morrison missed a three-pointer on the other end for ORU, Leroy Nobles converted a trey as the Jags gained a 65-61 lead and regained control of the game.

ORU got no closer than two points the rest of the way as IUPUI held on to advance to the tournament finals.

The Golden Eagles led by as many as five points in the first half, but a six-and-a-half minute dry spell helped lead to a 42-25 halftime deficit.

Craion finished 8-of-14 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. He added eight rebounds, five steals and three assists in one of his best performances of the year.

Warren Niles (Cincinnatti, Ohio) chipped in 11 points while Damen Bell-Holter (Hydaburg, Alaska) scored 11 points with six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.

Glenn led IUPUI with 18 points while Nobles added 17 and Young 16.

Updated 03-09-2010

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