Dominique Morrison had 24 points including four free throws in the final 30 seconds as Oral Roberts held on for an 89-80 win over North Dakota State in Summit League men's basketball Thursday, Jan. 5, before a crowd of 2,524 at the Mabee Center.
Damen Bell-Holter added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Eagles, who won their sixth straight game and improved to 13-4 overall to keep pace with South Dakota State for first place in the league at 5-0.
Taylor Braun scored 25 points and Lawrence Alexander had 16 points and seven assists for North Dakota State (10-4, 3-2). NDSU shot 67 percent overall, including 78 percent in the second half, but the Bison allowed a season-high 89 points and 52 percent shooting.
TrayVonn Wright added 12 points and six rebounds for NDSU, and Marshall Bjorklund had 10 points and six boards. The Bison outscored ORU 43-30 in the paint but gave up 22 points off 16 turnovers.
Oral Roberts had a 26-22 edge in total rebounds, including 14-6 on the offensive glass leading to 23 second-chance points.
ORU buried 7 of 9 three-pointers in the first half – including 4 of 4 for Morrison – and the Golden Eagles led by as many as 10 points before settling for a 38-31 lead at halftime.
Neither team missed a field goal try in the first 3½ minutes of the second half including back-to-back 3-pointers from NDSU"s Dylan Hale and Wright that tied the game 44-44.
It was a two-possession game until the final minute. Bjorklund's layup at the 7:55 mark put North Dakota State up 69-68, but ORU scored seven straight points to go ahead for good.
NDSU got as close as 81-78 with 2:20 left in the game, but Michael Craion and Morrison scored on two straight possessions to make it a seven-point game, and Morrison iced it at the line.
North Dakota State is scheduled to play Southern Utah at 7:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, Jan. 7, in Cedar City, Utah. The Thunderbirds are 7-8 overall and 3-2 in the league after a 75-68 loss to South Dakota State on Thursday.