A balanced offensive attack and tough defense by the Golden Eagles was just enough as the ORU women’s basketball team defeated Tulsa 76-68 in the PSO Mayor’s Cup Thursday evening.
Sophomore forward Maria Martianez got the Golden Eagles off to a fast start with six quick points in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles took advantage of a smaller TU lineup and fed their post players.
“We always feel that Maria and Faith are difficult matchups for any opponent. We can pull size out of the lane and then we can take advantage of smaller players inside,” said ORU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Misti Cussen. “It was definitely written on the board tonight. ‘Get early post touches’. When they get early post touches and are successful inside, it makes things so much easier for Ashley and Lakota.”
The inside dominance from Martianez and forward Faith Ihim opened up the perimeter for redshirt junior Lakota Beatty. The Anadarko, Oklahoma native took over in the second quarter as Beatty finished with a game-high 19 points knocking down two three pointers. Martianez and Ihim finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
“I just wanted to read the defense and help the team. I thought I had some good shots, but once they started to trap me, I had to kick it out to the guards and they got good shots too,” said Martianez.
Tulsa wasn’t able to get anything going offensively Thursday night as ORU defended the perimeter oriented Golden Hurricane. Tulsa shot 37 percent for the game and a just 22 percent from deep.
“With about four or five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, we made the decision to go one on one in the post, because we’d rather give up two than an uncontested three,” said Cussen.
PSO Mayor’s Cup stays at 81st and Lewis
The win over their in-town rival gave ORU its third straight PSO Mayor’s Cup and the seventh in the last 10 seasons. Cussen was presented with the Mayor’s Cup trophy by Tulsa first lady Victoria Bartlett.
Balla close to returning, Doyle and Marti still a ways off
Senior forward Dorka Balla dressed for the first time this season even though she didn’t play in the game, but Cussen says her vocal leader is 2-3 weeks from returning. Dressing for the game is good news for Balla and her participation in contact drills in practice mean her knee has responded well after having her knee scoped in late September.
Junior guard Jordan Doyle (knee) and freshman forward Maria Marti (back) are both still battling injuries. Neither appear to be close to returning.
“[Dorka] is really close. We thought we’d be able to get here out for the first time, but we were only going to do it in certain circumstances,” said Cussen. “I’m not quite ready to make here vulnerable yet. The other two aren’t definitive, but we’re getting closer.”
It was also the first win of the season for the Golden Eagles as their record now stands at 1-2. The next game for ORU will be Wednesday, November 23 when the Golden Eagles travel to Kansas to take on the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas. Tip-off is set for 6 P.M..