Niles Leads ORU Past IUPUI, 61-60
Trailing 60-59 after a layup by IUPUI’s Robert Glenn, the Golden Eagles (14-12, 10-5) called time out and drew up a play for Niles, who knifed his way through the defense from the left baseline and hit an 8-foot runner for a 61-60 lead.
IUPUI’s (18-9, 11-3) Leroy Nobles got off a jumper just before the buzzer, but the shot hit the front of the rim, setting off a Homecoming night celebration.
The win, coupled with South Dakota State’s home loss to North Dakota State, moved the Golden Eagles back into sole possession of third place in the Summit League standings.
While ORU escaped with the win, the Golden Eagles had to battle from behind as they have in most of their games this season. IUPUI led 31-24 at halftime, but the second half featured five ties and nine lead changes.
The Golden Eagles opened the second half with a 13-6 run, tying the game at 37-37 on Damen Bell-Holter’s (Hydaburg, Alaska) layup with 16:03 to play.ORU finally took its first lead since late in the first half when a Kevin Ford (Portland, Ore.) free throw made it 44-43 with 12:33 left.
IUPUI never let the Golden Eagles get ahead by more than two points in the final minutes. The Jaguars appeared to be on their way to winning the game when Robert Glenn scored eight straight points for a 58-52 lead with 3:56 to play.
Niles cut the lead to 58-54 with a layup at 3:37 and then hit one-of-two free throws with 3:04 to go as ORU pulled to within 58-55.
The game began turning toward ORU’s favor after consecutive turnovers by the Jaguars in the final two minutes. Michael Craion’s (Kansas City, Mo.) layup made it 58-57 with 36 seconds to go.Ken Holdman (Tulsa, Okla.) stole the inbounds pass and fed Craion for another layup as ORU surged ahead, 59-58 with 29 seconds left.
Glenn scored on a layup with 18 seconds to go for a 60-59 IUPUI lead, setting the stage for Niles.
The Golden Eagles shot 46 percent from the field and won despite a 12-for-20 effort from the free throw line. IUPUI was limited to 41.8 percent shooting and committed 13 turnovers.
Crain led ORU with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Niles added 12 points and Ford chipped in with 10.
IUPUI’s Glenn led all scorers with 28 points.