THIBODAUX, La. -
Nicholls State scored four points in the game's final nine seconds, upending Oral Roberts University by a 69-66 count on Saturday afternoon at Stopher Gym. The loss drops ORU to 4-8 (1-1 Southland Conference).
Sarah Shelton paced the Golden Eagles with a career-best 21 points, while Jaci Bigham scored nine points and added 10 assists.
Taylor Cooper scored 16 in the loss, while Kevi Luper added 12. ORU shot 43.9% from the floor.
Nicholls (9-4, 1-1 SLC) was led by Alisha Allen, who scored 18 points. Jenny Nash added 14, with a dozen markers coming after halftime. The Colonels shot 53.8% in their win.
Nicholls came out on fire, hitting their first four shots. A moving jumper from LiAnn McCarthy with16:43 on the clock gave the home team an 11-4 lead, forcing a timeout from Misti Cussen.
But the Golden Eagles rallied with pinpoint shooting of their own. Cooper hit three consecutive three-pointers, capping an 11-3 run with another long distance bomb to give the Golden Eagles a 22-18 lead at the 12:09 mark.
Nicholls retook control late in the half, closing on a 9-4 run. A KK Babin three-pointer in the half's final minute gave the Colonels a five-point lead, and they went into the break with a 38-35 advantage.
Cooper led all scorers with 11 points at the break, while Allen had 10 to pace Nicholls. The home team shot 55.2% from the floor in the second period.
The second half was incredibly tight, with the two sides swapping the lead eight times and neither squad leading by more than four points. ORU took their final lead at the 1:11 mark, when Shelton scored on a stick back to give the Golden Eagles a 66-65 advantage.
After a Nicholls turnover, ORU got the ball back with 25 seconds left and the shot clock off. But the Golden Eagles turned the ball back over to the Colonels, and Allen scored a runner in the lane with nine seconds left to give the Colonels a 67-66 edge.
ORU turned the ball over again on the ensuing inbounds play, and Emani White of Nicholls hit two free throws with four seconds left the stretch the lead to three. The Golden Eagles had one final opportunity to send the game to overtime, but Bigham's 30-foot heave at the buzzer was short and ORU came up on the losing end.
ORU returns home for the first time in 36 days when they host Northwestern State on Thursday, January 10. Game time at the Mabee Center is scheduled for 5 pm CT.