By NewsOn6.com and ORU
MACOMB, IL -- Despite career-high performances from freshmen forwards Jordan Pyle (Mustang, Okla.) and Cristal Turner (Maidstone, England), the Oral Roberts women's basketball team fell, 71-81, at Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
ORU falls to 9-8 on the year and 2-4 in the Summit League, while WIU improves to 5-12 overall and 3-3 in conference action. The Golden Eagles are now 12-15 all-time against the Westerwinds.
Junior forward Janae Voelker (Newton, Kan.) led the game with a game-high 23 points and was one rebound short of a double-double with nine rebounds, while freshman guard Georgia Jones (Manchester, England) scored 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Turner chipped in a career-high 12 points, as Pyle registered her second career double-double with 10 points and a career- and game-high 12 rebounds.
WIU scored the first two points of the game on a Nicole Myers layup in the first 17 seconds of the game, as Voelker responded less than 20 seconds later to tie up the game. The Westerwinds' Jordan O'Brien shot the first of her four three-pointers at 19:04 and the Golden Eagles went on a 4-0 run in the next two minutes of action with senior guard Mariana Camargo (Blumenau, Brazil) and Pyle giving ORU its first and only lead of the game, 6-5, with 17:15 in the first half.
Western Illinois took advantage of a five-minute ORU scoring drought and went up 14-6 with 12:49 to go and the Westerwinds took their first double-digit lead of the game, 23-13, at the eight-minute mark. WIU went up by as much as 15 points in the first half, 38-23, with two minutes to play, as the Golden Eagles finished out the half with three-pointers from Voelker and Turner to go into the locker room only down by nine points, 29-38.
The Golden Eagles came out on fire in the second half, as Jones scored three points not even thirty seconds into the half and kept the game to within six points, 32-38. Pyle, Turner and Voelker all kept it to a six-point game, before Jones stepped up with back-to-back three-pointers to make it a five-point game, 46-51, with 14:50 remaining. WIU pulled away on a 14-3 run and took a 65-49 lead at the 10-minute mark, as the Westerwinds made eight straight free throws in the next five minutes to go up, 73-61. Junior guard Amy Pryor (Norman, Okla.) shot a three-pointer to bring the game back to within single digits, 64-73, with 4:52 to play but wouldn't get much closer the rest of the game.
ORU shot 41.3% (26-63) from the field, including 38.5% (10-26) from three-point range and 50.0% (9-18) from behind the free throw line.
The Golden Eagles out-rebounded the Westerwinds, 39-35, but WIU's bench scored 25 points compared to ORU's four.
Western Illinois shot 45.5% (25-55), including 40.0% (8-20) from behind the arc and 79.3% (23-29) from the charity stripe.
ORU continues action on the road Monday, Jan. 19, playing at IUPUI at 7 p.m. in Indianapolis.