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December 31, 2004

ORU Falls 69-68 At Big Ten Foe Indiana

Bloomington, Ind. -- D.J. White's jumper with 14 seconds remaining helped Indiana hand ORU its second one-point loss of the season, as the Hoosiers survived a last-second 3-point attempt to hold off the Golden Eagles, 69-68, in front of 11,245 at Assembly Hall and a national cable television audience (ESPN Plus) on New Year's Eve.

ORU (9-3), which lost 55-54 at Hawaii due to a 30-foot buzzer-beating 3-pointer nine days ago, trailed 35-31 at the half and didn't take its first lead of the second half until Luke Spencer-Gardner drilled his sixth 3-pointer of the game to put the Golden Eagles ahead 68-66 with 1:33 remaining. The 6-1 senior from Melbourne, Australia finished 7-for-12 from the field, including a 6-for-8 effort from 3-point land, to finish with a team-leading 20 points and become the 24th player in school history to break the 1,000-career point mark (he now has 1,008).

Indiana (4-6), which won its second straight after dropping six consecutive to the likes of No. 8 North Carolina (70-63), No. 7 UConn (74-69), Notre Dame (55-45), No. 10 Kentucky (73-58), Missouri (56-53) and Charlotte (74-73), committed its 19th turnover of the game 20 seconds later, but ORU missed out on a chance to extend its lead due to a missed field goal attempt with 40 seconds left.

The Hoosiers' Bracey Wright then dribbled the ball up the floor in front of the IU bench where he appeared to be calling for a timeout. But ORU's Ken Tutt was whistled for a foul that resulted in a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 35 seconds to play. Wright, who scored just four points in the second half after tallying 11 in the first, made the first free throw attempt to draw the home team within one at 68-67. However, he missed his second attempt but managed to get the long rebound and the Hoosiers called another timeout with 27 seconds to go.

White, a 6-9, 230-pound freshman who led Indiana with 23 points and 11 rebounds, then made good on his 10-foot baseline jumper with 14 seconds left.

After an ORU timeout with 10 seconds to play, the Golden Eagles were in a position to win the game with a final shot. However, Spencer-Gardner was closely guarded out front and Tutt's 21-foot 3-point attempt near the top of the key hit the back iron and bounced away at the buzzer. Tutt had already beaten Saint Louis and Northern Arizona with shots in the final seconds this season, and also won four games on ORU's final shot as a freshman last season.

Tutt finished with 16 points, extending his double-figure scoring streak to 33 consecutive games in the loss. Larry Owens added 15 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench for the Golden Eagles.

ORU's Caleb Green, who entered the game averaging team-highs of 19.3 points and 9.5 rebounds, was saddled with foul trouble much of the game and finished with six points and team-leading eight rebounds before fouling out with 5:00 remaining.

ORU actually made more field goals (26-24) than IU, including eight treys compared to the Hoosiers' three. However, IU made 10 more free throws in the game in 13 more attempts. The Golden Eagles went 8-for-11 (72.7 pct) from the charity stripe, while the Hoosiers went 18-for-24 (75.0 pct.), including a 12-for-14 effort (85.7 pct.) in the second half.

ORU returns to action Tuesday when the Golden Eagles open Mid-Continent Conference play by hosting Southern Utah. Tipoff is set for 4:05 p.m. at the Mabee Center.


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