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Oral Roberts 2021 Evangelical ORU shocks Ohio State in NCAA Tournament39;s 1st upset

Oral Roberts 2021 Evangelical ORU shocks Ohio State in NCAA Tournament39;s 1st upset
oral roberts university, Ohio State

Oral Roberts 2021 Evangelical ORU shocks Ohio State in NCAA Tournament39;s 1st upset

Oral Roberts Oral Roberts ORU 1st Tournament's Evangelical Ohio State in NCAA shocks upset

Fri, 19 Mar 2021 13:00:00 -0700

Oral Roberts shocked Ohio State on Friday with a 75-72 OT win

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The school's mission is to

"

develop Holy Spirit-empowered leaders

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"

After an incredible run through the Summit League tournament, Oral Roberts University is continuing to dance in the NCAA Tournament.

The No.

15 seed in the South Region, ORU shocked second-seeded Ohio State on Friday with a 75-72 overtime win.

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It’s the first upset of the 2021 tournament, and the Golden Eagles become the ninth 15-seed to win a first-round game (and first since 2016, when Middle Tennessee shocked Michigan State).

It gives ORU its first NCAA Tournament win in 47 years, as this year marks the Golden Eagles’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008.

Not surprisingly, ORU was led by guard Max Abmas, who finished with 29 points.

He was the nation’s leading scorer in the regular season, averaging 24.2 per game.

But on Friday, the Golden Eagles’ leading scorer was actually forward Kevin Obanor, who scored seven of Oral Roberts’ 11 points in overtime, including two free throws with 13 seconds left.

He finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds.

It’s safe to say ORU wouldn’t be in the Big Dance if it weren’t for Obanor.

Last week, in the semifinals of the Summit League Conference tournament, Obanor tipped in a miss at the buzzer to put ORU past South Dakota State, 90-88.

BUZZER-BEATER TO ADVANCE TO THE SUMMIT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME‼️ pic.twitter.com/ez7FGsvaen

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 9, 2021

In a press conference following the thrilling win, Obanor thanked Jesus.

“I’m thankful to Jesus Christ for putting us in this position,” he said.

“We want it very bad.

It’s bigger than us, just to leave a legacy behind for ORU.

I’m just very eternally grateful and I just can’t wait to play tomorrow.”

"I'm thankful to Jesus Christ for putting us in this position.

We want it very bad.

It's bigger than us, just to leave a legacy behind for ORU.

I'm just very eternally grateful and I just can't wait to play tomorrow." – ORU's @_KevinObanor after buzzer-beating tip-in.

pic.twitter.com/By9BMZb7CH

— Luke Slabaugh (@LukeSlabaugh) March 9, 2021

That win put Oral Roberts into the Summit League championship game, where it defeated North Dakota State, 75-72, to clinch the conference’s automatic berth.

After Friday’s win over Ohio State, the Golden Eagles gathered on the court to pray as a team.

That’s a regular occurrence for these players from the private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The school is named for its founder Oral Roberts, the famous evangelist who founded the university in 1963.

Its mission is to “develop Holy Spirit-empowered leaders through whole person education to impact the world.”

“We develop whole leaders for the whole world through a unique Whole Person education,” says the school’s website.

“Spirit-empowered leaders come to ORU, not to ‘stay’ in their faith, but to GROW in faith.”

With Friday’s victory, the ORU men’s basketball team is bringing a lot of newfound attention to the university.

It gets a chance to continue its March run when it plays seventh-seeded Florida on Sunday.

RELATED STORIES: 
— Bryce Drew walking by faith in leading Grand Canyon to 1st NCAA Tournament appearance
— Baylor men earn program’s first NCAA Tournament No.

1 seed, living out culture of JOY
— North Texas coach Grant McCasland realizes purpose is ‘greater than just winning games’
— After trying year, Liberty men stand on God’s Word as they prepare for NCAA Tourney

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Oral Roberts Oral Roberts

Fri, 19 Mar 2021 13:00:00 -0700

March Madness woes

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No

. 2 Ohio State falls to

No

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15 seed Oral Roberts in overtime in first round tournament

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.

— The look was from straight on.

The shot would’ve given Ohio State the lead.

It stuck between the backboard and the rim and went no further.

The three-point attempt from Duane Washington Jr.

with 3:51 to play in overtime didn’t sink No.

2 seed Ohio State, but it foretold what was to come.

A season of promise, one that came just short of a Big Ten tournament title and a loss or two from a No.

1 seed, flamed out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 75-72 loss to No.

15 seed Oral Roberts.

After leading by four with 2:34 left in regulation, Ohio State missed its final three shots, turned it over twice and missed the front end of a one-and-one as the Golden Eagles would force overtime on a pair of Kevin Obanor free throws with 14.9 seconds left.

Washington’s shot that lodged itself came with Oral Roberts ahead 66-64.

One possession later, Obanor collected a miss, scored while being fouled and converted the three-point play for a five-point lead with 2:55 left and Ohio State (21-10) was done.

It would come down to the final buzzer, though: Justin Ahrens and Washington both missed three-point looks in the final five seconds that would have forced double overtime.

Obanor finished with 30 points, and Max Abmas — the nation’s leading scorer — had 29 for Oral Roberts.

The rest of the Golden Eagles combined to shoot 6 for 25 from the floor and 1 for 13 from three.

According to ESPN, Oral Roberts was a 16-point underdog, making it the largest NCAA Tournament upset since No.

16 seed UMBC beat No.

1 seed Virginia in 2018.

The loss is Ohio State’s second against a double-digit seed, joining a 60-59 defeat to No.

11 seed Dayton on March 20, 2014.

It’s also the first time the Buckeyes have not won a game after making the NCAA Tournament since that season.

Tied at 60, Musa Jallow gave the Buckeyes the lead with a free throw.

Washington added a swish on a jumper off an out-of-bounds play on the next possession to push it to three, and E.J.

Liddell, who led Ohio State with 23 points, hit a free throw on the next one to give the Buckeyes a four-point lead on the Golden Eagles (17-10).

Oral Roberts would fight back, and after Liddell missed the front end of a one-and-one with 36.3 seconds left and the lead at 64-62, Jallow fouled Obanor with 14.9 seconds left.

He hit both free throws to tie the game, and Washington would miss a three at the buzzer to force overtime.

After going ahead 64-60, the Buckeyes missed their final three shots, turned it over twice and missed a free throw.

Ohio State trailed by as many as seven points on two occasions and was down 51-45 with 10:23 to play in regulation before it started to get some offense going.

The Buckeyes scored on three straight possessions for the first time during the second half to take a 54-53 lead on a Washington floater with 6:57 to play.

Oral Roberts answered with an Obanor three, though, to immediately reclaim the lead.

After spotting Oral Roberts the first seven points of the game, Ohio State scored on four straight possessions to take a 10-7 lead and looked to be settling into the game.

That continued as the lead climbed to 17-12 when Liddell found Jallow for a layup with 14:15 left in the half, but things would get consistently cooler from there.

It started with a miss for Washington, who had 11 of Ohio State’s first 17 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

The Buckeyes would then miss 10 of their next 13 shots, and although that didn’t allow the Golden Eagles to immediately climb into the game, it kept Ohio State from creating distance.

As the Buckeyes went cold from the field, Oral Roberts went even colder.

The Golden Eagles would miss 14 of 15 shots during one stretch until Obanor snapped the streak with a three-pointer with 7:16 left in the half that pulled them within 23-18, and it would be the start of a 14-2 run for the upset-minded Golden Eagles.

Obanor scored the first eight points of the run and Abmas the following six on a pair of threes, the second of which forced Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann to call timeout with 3:41 to play and his team trailing 29-25.

It didn’t stop Oral Roberts, which would push its lead as high as seven points on an Obanor layup with 2:44 put the Buckeyes in a 34-27 hole.

Liddell would close the half from there by assisting on a Justice Sueing slam dunk, collecting a CJ Walker miss for a layup and scoring in the paint.

That gave Oral Roberts a 36-33 halftime lead.

Abmas had 18 at the break on 6-of-13 shooting.

Washington led the Buckeyes with 11 at the half.

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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– March 19, 2021
oral roberts university, Ohio State

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