The ORU women’s basketball team struggled at times but pulled out a 63-62 victory over Eastern Michigan Saturday afternoon.
ORU jumped out to a 22-12 lead early in the game but Head Coach Misti Cussen said the team grew complacent. Eastern Michigan went on a 13-0 run from the 7:06 mark to the 3:47 mark in the first half.
“The early lead was the worst thing that could have happened to us,” Cussen said. “That sounds really weird to say but we are just not yet at the point this season where we really know how to handle those situations.”
ORU’s defense was the key area where they let up. The Golden Eagles allowed 13 free throws in the first half and committed 11 turnovers.
“It’s something that really comes down to defensive intensity,” said senior Vicky McIntyre. “It’s one of those things that you can’t ever get comfortable.”
“I think sometimes we think we’re scoring offensively and that’s going to keep us in the game. It’s always having that mentality that the defense is what’s going to win us the game and if you let go on defense for one second they’re going to go on a crazy run.”
ORU trailed 34-29 at halftime, but stepped things up in the second half to pull out the win.
The game went down to the final seconds. ORU had a one point lead and possession of the ball with 13.4 seconds left in the game.
Eastern Michigan forced a jump ball on the inbounds pass that gave them possession. Cha Sweeney got an open look from three but missed.
McIntyre pulled down the rebound to seal the victory for the Golden Eagles. She finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the year. She also had six assists.
Jayden Oliver hit three three-pointers to finish with a season high nine points. Detti Balla had 10 rebounds.
ORU improved to 23-5 at home during Cussen’s time as head coach and 5-4 overall this season.
Next up for the Golden Eagles is a matchup against Grand Canyon on Friday at home. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m.