Oral Roberts advances to semifinals with win over Western Illinois

ORU junior Kenju Jo Lippe scored a team-high 19 points in the Golden Eagles' 74-66 win ainst Western Illinois in the quarterfinals.
ORU junior Kenju Jo Lippe scored a team-high 19 points in the Golden Eagles' 74-66 win ainst Western Illinois in the quarterfinals.

Press Conferences: ORU Head Coach Misti Cussen | ORU Players | WIU Head Coach JD Gravina | WIU Players

The Basics
Score: No. 4 Oral Roberts 74, No. 5 Western Illinois 66
Records: Oral Roberts (15-15), Western Illinois (15-15)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – No. 4 seed Oral Roberts recovered from a slow start to battle back and secure a 74-66 win over No. 5 seed Western Illinois on Sunday in The Summit League quarterfinals.

The Golden Eagles missed their first eight shots from three-point range but managed to stay close to the Fighting Leathernecks, who led for the majority of the first half despite five ties and five lead changes in the opening 20 minutes.

Regan Schumacher hit a layup and-1 to give the Golden Eagles a 22-21 lead with 5:43 left in the second quarter. She missed the free throw, but Keni Jo Lippe grabbed the offensive board and put it back for a four-point trip down the floor.

Olivia Kaufmann responded with a Leatherneck layup at the other end, but Rylie Torrey answered that with a three-pointer on the next trip down the floor to give ORU its largest lead to that point at 27-23.

WIU answered the Golden Eagle barrage in short order, as a Sam Pryor three-pointer and a Danni Nichols layup erased the ORU lead and put the Fighting Leathernecks back in front 28-27 with 4:10 left in the half.

It didn't last however as the Golden Eagles closed the half on a 10-0 run to take a 37-28 lead into halftime.

The Leathernecks scored the first four points in the second half but never came closer than four points the rest of the game, while the Golden Eagles stretched their lead to as many as 17 points.

Lippe led a trio of Golden Eagles in double figures with a team-high 19 points. Montserrat Brotons added 16 points and 10 rebounds to complete the double-double, while Torrey added 14 points in the win.

Kaufman finished with a game-high 23 points in the loss, with Carla Flores adding 17. Evan Zars scored eight points and added a game-high 13 rebounds for the Leathernecks.

The Golden Eagles advance to the tournament semifinals to face top-seed South Dakota on Monday at noon CT.

Turning Point
Regan Schumacher's and-1 with 5:43 left in the second quarter. She missed the free throw, but Lippe grabbed the offensive rebound and put it back for a four-point trip down the floor.

Inside the Box Score

  • After starting the game 0-for-8 from three-point range, ORU went 9-for-15 from there during the remainder of the game.
  • The ORU bench outscored the WIU bench 18-3.
  • WIU made five of its seven three-pointers in the first half.
  • The five lead changes and five ties all came in the first half.

News & Notes

  • Oral Roberts improves to 26-25 in the tournament all-time with a 14-7 mark in the quarterfinals.
  • Western Illinois falls to 15-25 in the tournament all-time with a 10-16 mark in the quarterfinals.
  • Sunday's game marked the eighth Summit League tournament meeting between ORU and WIU and the Golden Eagles hold a 7-1 edge in the series, which includes a 5-1 advantage in the quarterfinals and a 2-0 lead in the semifinals.
  • ORU eliminated WIU in the 2019 quarterfinals, 68-64, also as a No. 4 seed.

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