Christian Key scored a career-high 20 points and Jaci Bigham tallied her third double-double of the season as Oral Roberts University overcame a slow start to top Stephen F. Austin, 63-56, on Saturday evening at the Mabee Center. The win gives ORU (6-8, 3-1 Southland Conference) a two-game winning streak for the first time since early November.
Key went 6-for-12 from three-point range in her first career 20-point night. Bigham added 17 points and 10 assists, topping the 10-assist mark for the fourth straight game.
Kevi Luper added 12 points for the Golden Eagles, who shot just 25.0% in the first half and 34.9% for the game.
Porsha Roberts led the Ladyjacks (6-10, 1-4 SLC) with 16 points and 13 rebounds. SFA shot just 36.0% from the field.
ORU missed their first 11 field goal attempts and fell into a 7-0 hole. Bigham finally got the Golden Eagles on the board with a short jumper at the 14:31 mark, cutting the deficit to 7-2.
The Golden Eagles finally took the lead at the 10:06 mark, on a pair of Luper free throws. The points gave ORU a 13-12 lead.
Key caught fire late in the half, hitting three straight three-point attempts. The last gave the Golden Eagles a 29-23 lead, and they carried a 29-28 advantage into the halftime locker room.
Bigham led all players with 13 points at the break.
ORU came out of the locker room hot, scoring the first eight points of the period. Taylor Cooper connected on back-to-back three-pointers to stretch the advantage to 37-28 at the 18:06 mark.
Key connected on another long bomb at the 9:35 mark, giving ORU a 53-41 lead, and it looked like the Golden Eagles were ticketed to victory. But the Ladyjacks rallied, coming back with a 12-3 run to cut the score to 56-53 with 5:00 on the clock.
That's when Luper took over. The senior scored five straight points as part of a 7-0 ORU run that stretched the lead to 63-53 with 1:55 left. The Golden Eagles didn't score again, but they held on for a seven-point win.
ORU shot a healthy 48.1% from the field in the second half and 42.3% after missing their first 11 attempts.
With the win, ORU improves to 2-1 all-time against Stephen F. Austin.
The Golden Eagles return to action on Thursday, January 17, when they face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as the start of a two-game SLC road trip. Game time is set for 5 pm CT.
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