ORU Drops Heartbreaker in WBI Semifinals to Louisiana, 65-64

Oral Roberts' Faith Ihim and Vicky McIntyre
Oral Roberts' Faith Ihim and Vicky McIntyre

Louisiana 65, Oral Roberts 64
LAFAYETTE, La. (oruathletics.com) -- The season for the Oral Roberts women's basketball team came to an abrupt end Thursday night as the University of Louisiana handed the Golden Eagles a heartbreaking 65-64 defeat in the Women's Basketball Invitational Semifinals.

The Golden Eagles jumped out to an early lead in the first half leading by as many as 19 points, but the Ragin Cajuns cut the deficit to 35-23 at halftime.

Louisiana turned up the pressure in the second half forcing 24 turnovers in the game as a swarming defense kept ORU from getting a final shot off in the final three seconds.

Faith Ihim scored a season-high 22 points while Atoe' Jackson added 13 points that included a trio of three-pointers.

Vicky McIntyre added seven points and 14 rebounds for ORU.

Keke Veal led all scorers with 23 points, five steals and four assists for the Ragin Cajuns. Louisiana advances to the WBI Championship and will host Siena on Sunday.

The Turning Point
An 11-0 run for Louisiana midway through the second half saw the Ragin Cajuns take their first lead, 50-49 with 7:25 left in the game. Both teams battled back and forth the final seven minutes, but a three-point play from Simone Fields with 18 seconds left gave Louisiana a one point advantage and the win.

The Leaders
Oral Roberts: Faith Ihim finished with a season-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Atoe' Jackson added 13 points.
Louisiana: Keke Veal scored a game-high 23 points and had five of the Ragin Cajuns 16 steals.

Inside the Box Score
- The 16 steals for Louisiana was the most since Kansas State equaled the number in December. It was also the second most against ORU this season, behind 21 from Tennessee.
- It was the first time since a loss to IUPUI that ORU won the rebounding battle and still lost.
- It snapped a streak of 14 consecutive double-doubles for Vicky McIntyre.
- The Golden Eagles made seven three-pointers for the first time since knocking down seven against St. Gregory's.

News & Notes
- The Golden Eagles season ends as their all-time postseason record falls to 6-11.
- ORU is 2-1 all-time in the WBI and 0-1 against Louisiana.
- Vicky McIntyre finishes her career with 536 rebounds, ranking her second in NCAA history in a single-season. She also finishes just three shy of Courtney Paris' single-season record. She totaled 955 rebounds in her career.
- McIntyre finishes seventh on the NCAA single-season blocks list with 160 blocks. She finishes her career with 306 total blocks.