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ORU Falls To Conference-Leader Stephen F. Austin

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A five point game with just over 13 minutes to play, Stephen F. Austin pulled away late and topped Oral Roberts 83-72 on Thursday night at Johnson Coliseum.

ORU dropped to 16-14 overall and 10-7 in the Southland Conference, while SFA, who had already wrapped up the regular season championship, improved to 28-2 and 17-0 in League play.

With 16 points in the game, Shawn Glover moved into 22nd on the all time scoring list at ORU, tallying 1,121 points to pass Luke Spencer-Gardner. Korey Billbury added 14 points, while Bobby Word added 11 and Jorden Kaufman scored 10 off the bench. Despite a more balanced scoring attack, including four players in double figures, ORU was without a 20-point performance for the first time since the Golden Eagles were led by Glover's 19 points in a loss to Missouri State on December 13.

Thomas Walkup led the way for SFA with 16 points on a 4-5 shooting night. Deshaunt Walker added 12 and Desmond Haymon scored 10.

Led by Tanner Clayton's seven boards, SFA out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 35-28 in the game, including 14 offensive rebounds. Glover led the ORU effort with six rebounds.

ORU shot better from the field for the game, hitting 52 percent (25-58) compared to SFA's 48 percent (26-54), but SFA hit eight triples (8-18) in the game and converted 23 of 32 opportunities from the free throw line while ORU hit 18 of 26 trips.

Although ORU did not hold a lead, the game was a battle from the start, featuring four ties in the first 20 minutes.

After five straight ORU points tied the game at 30-30, SFA opened up its largest lead of the first half at eight points, 43-35 after a transition 3-pointer by Walker, who hit two of the ‘Jacks five first half 3-pointers.

A strong close by the Golden Eagles got ORU back within striking distance though as ORU scored the final five points of the half. The run included a 3-point play by Bobby Word and a fast-break layup by Adrion Webber to cut it to a three point game.

ORU continued to hang around in the second and a Brandon Conley bucket made it a 54-51 game with 14:31 to go, but SFA answered with a 6-0 run to open up a nine point lead, 60-51.

The Lumberjacks continued to pull away and despite a free throw by Conley cutting it to a 10-point game, SFA opened up a 15 point lead with 4:34 to go.

Glover hit a jumper to make it 81-70 with under a minute to play, but the two teams traded free throws down the stretch, keeping the margin at 11.

The Golden Eagles will close the regular season on Saturday at 3 p.m. as they face Northwestern State at Prather Coliseum.

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