Oral Roberts outlasts Southern Utah for nine-point win

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TULSA, Okla. (AP)—Marcus Lewis scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half and had a key late basket to help Oral Roberts outlast Southern Utah 71-62 in a Summit League game on Tuesday night.

Lewis, a 6-foot-8 junior, was 6-of-10 from the field and on free throws to help the Golden Eagles (19-6, 14-1 Summit) withstand 6-7 junior Geoff Payne’s career-high 35 points and 15 rebounds for the Thunderbirds (8-18, 6-9).

The Golden Eagles went on a 17-0 run midway through the first half and led the rest of the game, including 36-29 at halftime.

But the Thunderbirds, who trailed 55-44 with 7:50 remaining, went on a 14-7 run that included eight points from Payne to cut their deficit to 62-58 before a Lewis basket with 1:30 left.

Tyler Quinney countered by sinking a 15-footer with 1:10 remaining to reduce Oral Roberts’ advantage to 64-60. Southern Utah, however, did not get any closer as the Golden Eagles made 5-of-8 free throws in the final 55 seconds and Shawn King added a dunk in the final seconds to repel the Thunderbirds.

King, Adam Liberty and Robert Jarvis scored 10 points apiece for Oral Roberts, which swept the two-game season series with the Thunderbirds.

Dave Marek contributed 13 points and four assists for Southern Utah.

The Golden Eagles made 22-of-32 free throws compared to 13-of-18 for Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds outrebounded Oral Roberts 35-28.

The Golden Eagles have won 12 of its past 13, losing to IUPUI 69-66 on Saturday.

Southern Utah jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes as Payne scored four and Marek had a 3-pointer. Oral Roberts countered with 17 consecutive points, including eight from Liberty, to take a 21-10 lead midway through the first half.

After a Marchello Vealy trey and Kelvin Sango’s two free throws gave the Golden Eagles their largest lead at 31-19 with 4:04 remaining in the half, the Thunderbirds responded with an 8-0 run that included four points each from Payne and Marek.

Lewis, however, countered with a three-point play that boosted Oral Roberts’ lead to 34-27. Payne and Jarvis then traded baskets in the final 30 seconds of the half.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Southern Utah
Geoff Payne Geoff Payne
13-18,  35 Pts
15 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Oral Roberts
Marcus Lewis Marcus Lewis
6-10,  18 Pts
6 Rebs, 1 Assists

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Tuesday, Feb 19