The Lady Raiders led 40-22 at the half; at one point they led by 21 in the first half, and they held their largest lead of the night at the end of the game. For the first time this season, Tech's younger players, collectively as well as individually, appeared markedly less polished than the starting five.
"I was a little disappointed in our play off the bench," Sharp said. "That's something we're going to need to do better."
Spurred early – and often – by Cisti Greenwalt, the Lady Raiders led by as much as 21 points during the first half and 33 in the second. Greenwalt added seven to her career block total while scoring 18 points and corralling 14 rebounds. She played 28 minutes and stole the ball twice; her defense played a part in hurrying Turek, Cannon and other Lady Eagles' delivery, braking their offense, and interrupting their passing game all night long en route to being named player of the game. ORU couldn't answer Greenwalt's inside presence; she sank six field goals in 11 attempts. Greenwalt's passing game contributed two assists above and beyond her own points to the Lady Raiders' victory.
Sophomore Alesha Robertson added 15 points including two three-pointers and five free throws while collecting a block, a steal, and two assists in 28 minutes on the court. She hit two of six tries from beyond the arc and sank five of six free throws including one of two resulting from the ORU bench's technical foul.
LaToya Davis just kept turning up open underneath the basket, catching short passes and dropping in beautiful shots. The junior hit seven of 10 attempts from the field, yanked down six rebounds, and was credited with one assist and two thefts during 22 minutes on the floor. On defense, Davis collaborated with Greenwalt to shut down the inside against ORU.
After the game Davis said the Lady Raiders were pleased with their passing game. "I think we're pleased with how that's going, and a little more pleased with it in the second half. We had more turnovers in the first half, and coach (Sharp) talked to us about that a little at the half. She always tells us when our shots aren't falling, defense is the way, but right now the shots are falling okay."
Tech turned the ball over 10 times, while ORU let the orb escape 20 times. The Lady Raiders benefited from 14 steals while ORU achieved just three.
Junior Chesley Dabbs hit four of 11 tries from the field, did not see the charity stripe all night, gathered in six boards and contributed one steal and two assists in 25 minutes.
The starters' performance earned post-game praise from assistant coach Linden Weese.
"Our five starters did an excellent job tonight. I thought they defended well and did a good job of following the game plan."
He particularly mentioned the junior class. "Davis did a good job tonight defending (Turek)," he said.
Capitalizing on ORU's defensive focus on Robertson, he noted that Dabbs provided an alternative weapon for the Lady Raiders.
"You've gotta have that. Ches came out and knocked her shots down early…Dabbs is a big-time player for us."
Erin Grant, Tech's junior point guard, reminded fans and future opponents that not only can she dish and drive to collect her points, but she owns a credible downtown shot as well. Her success from beyond the arc sparked Tech's early scoring in the second half; along with crisp passes all night, Grant collected nine points, sinking three of five attempts from the field and two of two from the free throw line after being flattened on a fast break; she had nine assists and four steals in 25 minutes.
Sophomore guard Brooke Baughman turned in one assist and one rebound in 15 minutes of play; she attempted five field goals including one beyond the arc, but did not score. Sophomore transfer Patrice Edwards played five minutes, collecting two rebounds, one block and one steal. Neither of her shots scored.
Darrice Griffin played 16 minutes and scored five points, hitting one field goal in five attempts and three of six free throws she had a block and five rebounds. Fellow freshman Erin Myrick played 10 minutes, hit one field goal in four tries and one free trow in two, collared four boards and had one steal and one block.
Freshman Judith Smith had 21 minutes on the floor; she hit one of three attempts from beyond the arc as the clock ran out, and three of eight from the field altogether to finish the night with seven points, two rebounds, a block and two steals. Tawanna Flowers, Tech's fourth freshman, played five minutes and garnered two rebounds. Neither Enrica Johnson nor Lauren Mitchell played for the Lady Raiders.
Oral Roberts came to play, but by the end of the first three minutes Tech clearly had the upper hand. Twelve players saw action for the Lady Golden Eagles; Turek played 37 minutes and earned 10 points, 8 rebounds, and one block for the night. Junior Leah Cannon, the starting point guard, played 33 minutes and finished with eight points, four rebounds and one assist. Senior Claudia Louis played 26 minutes, hit half her field goal attempts and both her free throws, yanked down four boards and finished the night by fouling out with eight points. Alycia Seay, ORU's center, played 21 minutes and scored nine points. She retrieved eight boards and blocked one shot.
Katie Langford played 22 minutes. Scoreless despite six attempts, she collected one rebound and two assists. Jeri Gilmore played seven minutes, stole the ball twice and grabbed two rebounds. Tiffany Johnson played ten minutes, hit three of four free throws, had one rebound and one assist. Claudia Pereira hit two field goals of three tries and had one rebound in 10 minutes. Jessica Boan played 13 minutes and collected two points and a board. Maureen Obudho sank two shots and collared four rebounds in 15 minutes. Jamie Fithian, ORU's 6'6'' substitute center, played two minutes and had one rebound and one block. Sarah Davidson had one board in four minutes.
The Lady Raiders play Sunday at 1 p.m. in the United Spirit Arena, hosting Mississippi.
"They'll be way good," coach Weese said Thursday night. "We're starting a home and home (series) with them, and I'm sure they'd like to come in here Sunday and take one away from us."
Oral Roberts' record falls to 4-2 for the year while Tech moves to 5-