LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Dominique Morrison‘s (Kansas City, Mo.) jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining lifted Oral Roberts to an 80-78 win over Rice in the final game of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, Wednesday at South Point Casino Resort. The win snapped ORU’s four-game losing streak.
With the score tied at 78-78, Morrison received the ball at the left wing, drove to his right, spun and banked in a shot from 12 feet. After timeouts by each team, ORU’s Damen Bell-Holter (Hydaburg, Alaska) intercepted the inbounds pass to preserve the win.
After leading by as many as 17 points in the second half, the Golden Eagles (5-7) needed clutch plays from Morrison and Bell-Holter to pull out the victory.
A free throw by Morrison gave the Golden Eagles a 62-45 lead with 13:14 remaining in the game. But Rice (6-5) wouldn’t go away. Tamir Jackson and Arsalan Kazemi combined to score 18 points during a 25-8 run by the Owls, and Kazemi tied the game at 70-70 on a tip-in with 3:48 remaining.
But the Golden Eagles never surrendered the lead. A jumper by Steven Roundtree (Jacksonville, Fla.) and four straight free throws by Bell-Holter gave the Golden Eagles a 76-72 lead with 1:42 to play. But a layup by Rice’s Trey Stanton and a pair of free throws by Jackson knotted the game at 76-76 with 1:06 to go.
Bell-Holter made it a 78-76 ORU lead after a jumper with 34 seconds left, but Connor Frizelle hit a short jumper, knotting the game at 78-78 and setting the stage for Morrison’s game winner.
The Golden Eagles dominated play in the first half, shooting 61 percent from the field on their way to a 47-38 halftime advantage.
ORU shot 57 percent for the game, including 10-of-16 from three-point range. The Golden Eagles were also 12-of-14 from the free throw line and recorded a season-high 22 assists.
Rice shot 53 percent for the game including 64 percent in the second half. The Owls owned a slim 25-24 rebounding advantage.
Bell-Holter finished with a career-high 20 points, adding seven rounds, five assists and three blocked shots. Morrison scored 18 points with five rebounds and four assists, while Warren Niles(Cincinatti, Ohio) tossed in 16 points. Roundtree finished with 15.
Jackson led Rice with 25 points.