Oral Roberts and Chicago State battle for MCC Title
(Sports Network) - The top-seeded Oral Roberts Golden Eagles are set to battle the sixth-seeded Chicago State Cougars for the Mid-Continent Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Chicago State earned its spot in this tilt thanks to a hard-fought 57-53 decision over IUPUI last night. The Cougars have never won this tournament and are making their first-ever appearance in the Mid-Continent Championship game.
As for Oral Roberts, it cruised by Valparaiso yesterday by a 77-58 final in the semifinal round. The Golden Eagles have never won this tournament's title either, as they were knocked off by Oakland last season in the championship game. In the quarterfinal round of this event, Oral Roberts posted a hard-fought victory over a pesky Western Illinois squad. Oral Roberts swept the regular season series with Chicago State.
Chicago State did not play well at the offensive end against IUPUI last night, as the Cougars connected on only 34.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including a 3-of-15 effort from three-point range. They finished with a low total of six assists as well, but the fact that they were able to hold IUPUI to 33.9 percent shooting from the floor was key to the win. Also, Chicago State earned a 24-10 advantage in points from the foul line, overshadowing a 17-9 offensive rebounding disadvantage. Royce Parran led the way in the victory with 14 points, while Michael Henderson and David Holston pitched in 11 points apiece for the Cougars. Parran and Holston are both Second Team All- Mid-Continent selections, and they will be counted on heavily tonight as usual.
Oral Roberts found itself down 7-0 early in last night's game against Valparaiso. Fortunately, the Golden Eagles were able to connect on 50.8 percent of their field goal attempts in the clash and finish with 15 assists against only eight turnovers. They limited the Crusaders to 38.2 percent shooting from the floor, helping them to overcome a 38-29 rebounding disadvantage. Caleb Green, the back-to-back Mid-Continent Player of the Year, was impressive as usual in the win, as he tallied 23 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field. Larry Owens pitched in 18 points for the Golden Eagles, who also got 17 points from Jonathan Bluitt and 10 from Ken Tutt. In the quarterfinal win over Western Illinois, Tutt poured in a season-high 29 points to pace the Golden Eagles, who have won 10 of their last 12 games overall.
03/07 10:26:39 ET