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Oral Roberts Holds Off Akron on Senior Night

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The Golden Eagles Blew Two Double-Digit Leads, but Still Managed to Hold off the Zips (AP Photo). The Golden Eagles Blew Two Double-Digit Leads, but Still Managed to Hold off the Zips (AP Photo).
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles sent their seniors off in style Saturday, knocking off the Akron Zips 67-61 as part of ESPN BracketBuster and winning their 23rd home consecutive home game of the year.

The Golden Eagles built a big lead in the first half, leading by 15 points with four minutes left in the first half, but saw their lead diminish as the half closed out. The Zips responded with nine consecutive points, capped off by back-to-back fastbreak scores to cut the lead to 28-22 with 2:08 left to play in the first half.

However, Oral Roberts reestablished its lead as time expired, by scoring six unanswered points in the last one minute of the half, capped off by a buzzer-beater from Dominique Morrison to take a 33-22 lead.

The buzzer-beater put Morrison over the 2,000-point mark for his career, becoming just the seventh ORU player to reach that mark.

Akron cut into the lead once again, thanks to a 7-1 run to open the second half, capped off by five points from Nikola Cvetinovic to cut the deficit to 34-29 less than two minutes into the second half. But the Golden Eagles responded with five of their own, capped by a three-pointer from Warren Niles to push the lead back to 10 points.

Two minutes later, still trailing by 10, the Zips cut the lead back to single digits, snapping off a 9-2 run, including five from Quincy Diggs, to cut the lead to 43-40.

ORU held its three-point lead two minutes later, when Cvetinovic hit a jumper to cut the lead to just one point. But the Golden Eagles' offense wouldn't let them down, putting together a 10-2 lead, four from Morrison, to extend the lead to 60-51 with less than five minutes left to play.

Late in the game, the Zips attempted to make a comeback by trying to turn the game into a free throw contest, but the Golden Eagles finished the game by making five of their six free throw attempts to ice the game.

Morrison turned in yet another big performance for the Golden Eagles, finishing with a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 boards. Damen Bell-Holter contributed big as well, racking up 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks in the win.

The Golden Eagles will hit the road for the final time this regular season, taking on Southern Utah at 8 p.m. Saturday to close out Summit League regular-season play.

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