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ORU Lets Big Lead Slip Away to Tulsa

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane earned the Mayor's Cup Wednesday with a five-point victory over Oral Roberts. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane earned the Mayor's Cup Wednesday with a five-point victory over Oral Roberts.

Originally Published: Jan 20, 2010 8:7 PM CDT

Bobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist

TULSA, Oklahoma – The streak is dead.

The eight-season run, in which the Mayor’s Cup home team wins every game, ended Wednesday night when Tulsa stormed all the way back from down nine at halftime to beat Oral Roberts on the road, 57-52.

ORU failed to score a basket when they needed it down the stretch with the game was on the line. The Golden Hurricane outscored ORU 31-14 in the final 16:24, finding a way to outlast its cross town rival.

The Golden Hurricane erased a double digit lead thanks to a feverish second half stampede from senior center Jerome Jordan. Jordan wore down the Golden Eagles in the paint, and carried the Golden Hurricane in the second half. The senior bounced back from a lackluster first half, scoring 12 of his 17 points after the break.

Early in the game Kevin Ford dominated the big man battle for ORU. The 6-foot-9 junior outscored the much taller Jordan and got him into early foul trouble. Jordan played the final 7:30 with four personal fouls. Ford finished the game with 18 points and 10 rebounds, both totals well above his season averages.

The Golden Hurricane stumbled to start the game, trailing 23-10. Tulsa didn’t score for nearly ten minutes in the first half. Oral Roberts took advantage of the Tulsa drought, pushing its lead to double digits.

Dominique Morrison hit a three pointer just before the first half buzzer to send Oral Roberts into the locker room with a 30-21 lead at the break. The Golden Eagles grabbed all the first half momentum during a ten minutes scoreless stretch by Tulsa.

Kevin Ford led all scorers at the half with eight points. Morrison and Warren Niles each scored seven points in the first half for the Golden Eagles.

Warren Niles continued his hot play for ORU. The Summit League’s reigning co-player of the week scored 11 points against the cross town rivals. His bank shot off the backboard extended ORU’s lead to 44-38 midway through the second half.

Tulsa’s three-headed monster of Justin Hurtt, Jerome Jordan and Ben Uzoh didn’t shine the way they had all season to this point. Coming into Wednesday, the trio combined for 47 points per game. Against ORU, they struggled to just 35 points.

Uzoh, the team’s leading scorer, didn’t score until 23 minutes into the game. The senior finished with a just seven points.

Over 9,000 fans packed the Mabee Center to see this year’s installment of the Mayor’s Cup. The entire lower bowl of the arena was sold out, and Golden Eagle players seemed to feed off the split crowd.

Tulsa led 6-4 early, and didn’t regain the lead until a Hurtt free throw to make it 50-49 inside three minutes to play. Oral Roberts went away from Ford and settled for long jump shots in the late stages of the game.

Recently, this annual rivalry has favored the home team. The pair has split each game dating back to 2004, and every time, the team on its home floor escaped with a win.

Tulsa extends its road winning streak to three games. Oral Roberts loses for just the second time at home this season. The loss drops Oral Roberts to an even 10-10 this season. They visit Centenary on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Golden Hurricane is now 15-3. They host Conference USA foe Rice at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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