Oakland repeats as Summit champs
Golden Grizzlies win conference for second year in a row
SIOUX FALLS S.D. -- Keith Benson scored 28 points and Reggie Hamilton had 26 points to lead Oakland past Oral Roberts 90-76 on Tuesday night to repeat as the Summit League champion and clinch a berth in the NCAA tournament.
The No. 1 seed Golden Grizzlies (25-9) put the game out of reach by outscoring Oral Roberts 24-5 in a stretch to lead 84-64 with 4:26 left. Hamilton had 12 points and Benson eight in the outburst.
Dominique Morrison led No. 2 seed Oral Roberts (19-15) with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Benson, the Summit League’s player of the year, added 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.
It was a game of scoring bursts for Oakland. Oral Roberts responded to the first two, but ran out of time on the final one.
Oral Roberts led early and again with 13:14 left in the game. But it didn’t last long. Hamilton made a 16-footer and Benson hit two free throws for a 60-57 lead and the Golden Grizzlies held on for the win.
Leading 60-59, Oakland went on an 11-0 run. The Golden Grizzlies led by 20 with 4:25 left.
Oakland made two big scoring runs in the first half.
Hamilton scored six consecutive points and had an assist on Will Hudson’s basket that put Oakland up 19-8 with 13:54 left before halftime. The Golden Grizzlies were 8 of 13 from the field at that point.
Oral Roberts countered with a scoring outburst. Ken Holdman had a pair of 3-pointers and Steven Roundtree had two field goals that allowed the Golden Eagles to tie the score at 23.
Then Oakland went on a 14-0 run to put Oakland ahead 41-25 before Oral Roberts trimmed the deficit to a dozen points at halftime.
Oakland shot 52 percent and had seven turnovers to 46 percent shooting and 14 turnovers for Oral Roberts.
It was the third consecutive appearance in the title game for Oakland.