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Oral Roberts Wins First Southland Conference Game

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HAMMOND, Louisiana -

Jaci Bigham finished with 14 points and 11 assists as Oral Roberts glided past Southeastern Louisiana, 81-62, in their first ever Southland Conference game. With the victory, the Golden Eagles improve to 4-7 (1-0 SLC).

Kevi Luper and Sarah Shelton each scored 18 points for the Golden Eagles.

Luper crossed the 2,500-career point mark with 4:38 left in the opening half. The senior from Adair is just the 48th player in NCAA Division I history to reach the plateau.

Aja Gibson and Jameika Hoskins led Southeastern (7-5, 0-1 SLC) with 12 points each, while Elizabeth Styles had 10 points and five assists.

ORU shot 54.7% from the floor, and edged out the Lady Lions on the glass, 37-31.

Misti Cussen's club got off to a hot start thanks to the court vision of Bigham. The senior assisted on four of ORU's first six baskets, giving the Golden Eagles a 13-6 lead at the 12:06 mark of the first half.

The road team continued to slowly build the lead, with the advantage rising to 19-10 on a Shelton free throw with 8:52 left in the half.

ORU took off on a 15-0 run to grab total control of the game late in the first half. A Shelton basket off of another Bigham feed gave the Golden Eagles a 41-23 lead late in the half, and they took a 41-25 advantage into the halftime break.

Bigham controlled the opening half, dishing 10 assists before the intermission.

ORU's first 20-point lead came with 16:12 left in the game, as Bigham was able to get to the line and hit a pair of free throws that stretched the advantage to 49-28.

The visitors took their largest lead of the game with 6:32 remaining, when Achilefu canned a short jumper to stretch the advantage to 76-44. The Lions whittled down the margin late in the game, but the final outcome was never in doubt.

Bigham's double-double was her second of the season and the sixth of her ORU career. She added six rebounds, a team-high, and three steals.

ORU will look for their second straight win on Saturday, January 5, when they face Nicholls State. Game time in Thibodaux, La., is scheduled for 2 pm CT.

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