Oral Roberts University went cold in the second half, letting a four-point intermission lead go to waste in a 70-56 loss to Abilene Christian University on Thursday night. Christian Key scored 22 points to lead ORU (3-11, 2-2 Southland Conference) in a losing effort.
ORU was up, 35-31, at the break, but they struggled mightily in the 2nd half. The Golden Eagles committed 11 turnovers and shot 36.0% after the break. They were outscored, 39-21, in the 2nd period
For the game, ORU gave it away 20 times and shot 42.6% from the floor.
Key was the lone ORU player in double-figures, and she had a team-high five assists. Bernadett Balla led ORU with eight rebounds.
Alexis Mason led the Wildcats (12-6, 3-0 SLC) with 18 points, while Renata Marquez added 13. Suzzy Dimba led all players with 15 rebounds.
ACU owned the glass, collecting 45 rebounds to ORU's 29. The Wildcats had 17 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points.
Key was on fire in the first half, single-handedly building a significant lead. The senior scored five points as part of a 7-0 run midway through half, giving the visitors a 14-12 edge.
The Tulsa native was responsible for the largest ORU lead of the game, as her fourth three-pointer of the half gave the Golden Eagles a 33-25 advantage with 3:42 left in the half.
But Abilene closed the half on a 6-2 run, and ORU's lead was just 35-31 heading into the break. Key had 16 points in the first period.
Abilene Christian dominated the second half right from the opening whistle. The Wildcats scored the first 11 points of the period, with a Mason three-pointer giving the home team a 42-32 lead with 17:24 to play.
The points continued to roll in for ACU. A 15-2 run, capped by yet another Mason three-pointer, pushed the score to 59-42 at the 10:15 mark. The 17-point advantage was the largest of the day for either team.
A 9-1 run gave ORU fleeting hope, as a Balla jumper with 4:03 left cut the gap to 64-56. But the Golden Eagles did not score again. The Wildcats tallied the final six points of the game and won by 14.