Oral Roberts wins game with a prayer
December, 13, 2011
By Diamond Leung | ESPN.com
It was a game-winning shot so stunning that the Oral Roberts play-by-play man prematurely declared the start of overtime right before the ball went through the hoop.
With the game tied, Oral Roberts big man Damen Bell-Holter stole a baseball inbound pass with 3.6 seconds left and then threw a three-quarter-court prayer back the other way off the backboard and in to beat Arkansas Little-Rock on Monday.
"I was holding onto it and [teammate Dominique Morrison] said 'Shoot it,' and so I let it go," Bell-Holter told the Tulsa World after finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
It was good advice, with the once-in-a-lifetime shot going in for the junior. But should the play have counted?
After the game, Arkansas Little-Rock coach Steve Shields asked the opinion a reporter, who responded that Bell-Holter might have taken an extra step and traveled. "I think you can say that and get away with it," Shields replied, smiling. "I might get in trouble for saying that."
In any case, Shields' players were hurting from the loss while Oral Roberts got to experience an emotional high. Just last month, the Golden Eagles (7-3) had lost to UTSA on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer after blowing a 15-point halftime lead.
"I think Dominique [Morrison] said it best when he said the basketball gods owed us one after what happened against Texas-San Antonio," Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton said. "We probably didn't deserve to win that game but sometimes you find a way to win anyway. We have a great saying on our court, 'Expect a Miracle,' and that is certainly what it was."