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Oakland goes back to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season

March 8, 2009

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Keith Benson and Reggie Hamilton combined for 54 points as Oakland won its second straight Summit League post-season basketball tournament championship with a 90-76 victory over Oral Roberts Tuesday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Oakland, the regular season champion, takes a 25-9 record to the NCAA tournament as the league's automatic qualifier. The victory is OU's eighth straight, and ended ORU's ten-game streak. The Golden Eagles end the season 19-15.

Oakland led 45-33 at halftime but ORU rallied to take a 55-54 lead on a four-point play by Warren Niles with 13:29 to play.

Then Hamilton scored 15 points during a 22-4 run by the Grizzlies, hitting a three-point shot to put Oakland up 78-61 with 7:40 to play.

When Will Hudson scored with 2:02 to play, the Grizzlies had a 90-66 lead.

Oakland shot 52 percent (35-of-67) and had a 54-28 points-in-the-paint advantage.

Benson, who added the tournament Most Valuable Player award to the same honor from the regular season, finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Hamilton, also on the all-tournament team, had 26 points, six assists and two steals. Will Hudson added 12 poins and 10 rebounds, while Drew Valentine added 10 points.

Oral Roberts had five players in double figures, led by Dominique Morrison, with a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double. Niles added 13 points, Damen Bell-Holter 11, Steven Roundtree 10 and Ken Holdman 10.

ORU shot 46 percent (29-of-63). Oakland finished with a 37-35 rebound advantage and was plus seven in turnovers (14-7).




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