|Updated: 3/16 10:33 pm
||Published: 3/16 10:32 pm
KATY, Texas (AP) - Kevi Luper scored 26 points and Oral Roberts secured its first NCAA tournament berth in five years with a 72-66 win over Sam Houston State in the Southland Conference women's championship game on Saturday.
Jaci Bigham had 17 points and five assists for the Golden Eagles (18-12), who went 28 for 33 from the free-throw line and took advantage of 20 turnovers by the Bearkats. Oral Roberts and first-year coach Misti Cussen finished their first season in the Southland with the school's sixth conference tournament championship.
Luper was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Sequeena Thomas scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Bearkats (18-14), who shared the regular-season conference title with Oral Roberts. The teams split their regular-season meetings, and the championship game was close all the way, with the lead changing hands 10 times.
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