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Oral Roberts stuns third-ranked Kansas

Nov 16, 2006 - 3:24 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Oral Roberts showed Kansas the two teams have more in common than last season's first-round exits from the NCAA Tournament.

Ken Tutt hit a backbreaking 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play as Oral Roberts posted a stunning 78-71 upset over the third-ranked Jayhawks.

Marchello Vealy buried seven 3-pointers en route to scoring 22 points and two-time Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year Caleb Green added 20 as the Eagles beat a top-25 team for the first time since 1996.

"We didn't deserve that (the ranking), what have we done to deserve that?" Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Everybody keeps saying all this about our team, but what have we done? All we did last year was play pretty well for the first part of the season, but we got beat in the first round at the NCAA Tournament last year. This team hasn't done anything to deserve the accolades before they've earned it."

There was no doubting that Oral Roberts (1-0) earned the victory. The Eagles seized control early behind a dazzling shooting display from Vealy and never yielded the lead.

"I have always wanted to play Kansas. This is a big day for our university," Green said. "I knew we had a bunch of good players, but Marchello Vealy - nobody knew he was going to come in here and shoot like that tonight. He put it over the top tonight. All the pieces were there for a big upset."

With Oral Roberts trailing, 18-17, Vealy drilled five 3-pointers in a span of 3:32 to give his team a 35-25 lead with 5:07 left in the half.

"He has the potential to shoot the ball and after he made his first couple, he started to really gain some confidence," Eagles coach Scott Sutton said of Vealy. "The rim looked like a big ocean to him and he kept firing it up there."

Kansas star swingman Brandon Rush answered with a flurry of his own, scoring the team's next seven points to cut the deficit to 39-34 at halftime.

But behind the inspired inside play of the 6-8, 255-pound Green, who pulled down 11 rebounds, the Eagles fended off repeated charges by the Jayhawks in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

"He was by the far the best player in the game," Self said of Green. "We are talking about (Julian) Wright, Rush and (Mario) Chalmers. Caleb Green was the best player in the game. Any NBA scout would tell you that Caleb was the best player out there."

Another 3-pointer by Vealy helped the Eagles extend the lead to a game-high 11 points, at 62-51, and shortly thereafter, Tutt hit one from the arc to give Oral Roberts a 65-55 lead with 7:45 to play.

Kansas (1-1) slowly inched back and closed to 72-69 on a free throw by Russell Robinson with a minute to play.

That set up the shot of the game by but Tutt, who entered the season with 235 career 3-pointers. He buried a long jumper from the right wing and added two free throws with 25 seconds left for a 77-69 lead.

"He is a great shooter," Sutton said of Tutt. "Ken is one of the best shooters in the country and I was confident he was going to step up and make a big play."

Until his huge 3-pointer, Tutt had made just two of his first 14 shots.

"I had a rough night," Tutt said. "If it wasn't for my teammates keeping us in the game and keeping my head up and telling me to keep shooting, I would not have made (the 3-pointer). They were double-teaming Caleb and he made a great pass and I stepped up and made the shot.

"Everyone told me to keep shooting, so I just kept my head in the game."

Freshman Darrell Arthur scored 22 points for Kansas, which shot 45 percent (29-of-64) from the field.

"They did not catch us off-guard," Rush said. "We went into the game a little loose. We let them get comfortable and they started making big shots toward the end of the game. That really ended it."

The Eagles shot 50 percent (27-of-54) and made 11-of-17 from the arc.

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