ORU Ready To Dance

Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 10:01 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Moses Ehambe hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points, and Oral Roberts earned an automatic NCAA tournament berth by beating IUPUI 71-64 Tuesday night to win its third straight Summit League tournament title.

Robert Jarvis added 16 points and Shawn King scored 10, and the two teamed up to lead the Golden Eagles down the stretch.

King backed in for a layup to put Oral Roberts up 59-57 with 2:51 left, and Jarvis added a jumper in the lane on the Golden Eagles' next trip down.

Summit League player of the year George Hill answered with a driving layup for IUPUI (26-7), but Jarvis -- the top-scoring reserve in the country -- connected on a 3-pointer from the right
side and Hill couldn't match him on the other end.

King was fouled on the rebound and hit both of his foul shots, pushing the lead to 66-59 for the Golden Eagles (24-8) with 1:20 left.

Hill cruised in for a right-handed dunk on the Jaguars' next possession, but couldn't convert on another drive or a 3-pointer in the final minute to close the deficit. Oral Roberts went 5-for-8
from the free throw line in the final 63 seconds to seal the win.

Fans stormed the court to celebrate the third consecutive NCAA tournament bid for the tiny Tulsa school founded by a televangelist.

After losing the title game on a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in 2005, Oral Roberts has swept the conference tournament in its hometown the past three years.

Hill had 24 points to lead the Jaguars, Austin Montgomery scored 16 and Gary Patterson added 14.

Oral Roberts surged ahead early with a 14-2 run that Kelvin Sango capped with a layup that made it 17-6. The Jaguars slowly chipped away and got within 28-27 on Patterson's jumper from the left wing before Ehambe closed the first half with a 3-pointer.

Ehambe then hit three more 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes of the second half to push Oral Roberts to a 45-36 advantage before IUPUI rallied back to tie it at 47 on John Avery's 3-pointer from the right corner with 10:55 to play.

Hill's 3-pointer from the top of the key gave IUPUI its final lead of the game at 57-55 with 4:20 left before Sango tied it on a layup for Oral Roberts.

The Jaguars were seeking their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2003.

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