ORU Eliminated In First Round of WNIT

WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State University built an early 19-3 lead and never looked back, ending Oral Roberts University's season with a 79-57 victory on Friday night in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

ORU's year ends at 20-11, while Wichita State (20-12) advances to play Oklahoma State the second round of the WNIT.

Summit League Player of the Year Kevi Luper led ORU with 17 points, while senior Jordan Pyle added 14 in her final collegiate game.

Tulsa native Haleigh Lankster led Wichita State with 21 points, while fellow All-Conference performer Jessica Diamond chipped in 20 for the Shockers.

WSU shot 45.5% from the floor and forced 22 ORU turnovers. The Golden Eagles shot 38.9%.

Lankster produced a pair of baskets as the home team scored six points before ORU could tally. Following a Jaci Bigham three-pointer to cut the lead in half, the Shockers rattled off a 13-0 run culminating with another Lankster deuce to build a 19-3 lead at the 16:29 mark.

The lead was never in single digits for the remainder of the game. The home side continued to add to the bulge, which was 51-28 on a Lankster three-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

ORU was able to cut the lead to 14 points, at 59-45, on a Christian Key jumper with 11:16 to play. But the Shockers had the margin back to 20 on a Diamond basket at the 7:41 mark to make the score 67-47.

Amber Carver led ORU with nine rebounds, while Georgia Jones posted a team-best four assists.

Seniors Pyle, Jones and Dominique Allen played their final collegiate game on Friday night. The trio participated in three WNIT runs and two Summit League regular season titles.

ORU's 20-win season is their third in a row and the sixth of Head Coach Jerry Finkbeiner's tenure.

Wichita State's second round game against Oklahoma State tips off on Sunday at 2 pm in Stillwater.