Score: Oral Roberts 87 – Rogers State 76
Records: ORU (1-1) – RSU (1-1)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Mabee Center)
TULSA, Okla. – An early 10-2 lead was enough to propel the Oral Roberts men's basketball team to an 87-76 victory over Rogers State Monday evening at the Mabee Center. Although the Hillcats threatened late, ORU never trailed in the contest.
Albert Owens carried the load early, while Jalen Bradley took over in the second half. Each Golden Eagle matched their career highs with 21 points apiece on the night. Owens scored 17 of his in the first half, while Bradley dropped 19 in the second half, including a stretch of 11 of 12 points for ORU. Other highlights for the Golden Eagles included a dominant rebounding performance from Emmanuel Nzekwesi with 17 boards, the most since Korey Billbury grabbed 17 rebounds against Haskell on December 28, 2014.
Travis Hester scored 20 points to lead Rogers State, while Jeylyn Sharpe and Jordan Huffman each chipped in 12 points. Sharpe led the Hillcats' rebounding effort with eight boards.
Down to a one point ORU lead after a Hester 3-pointer, Bradley scored 7 straight 11 straight ORU points and helped push the lead out to six.
Quote of the Game
"It's a win, and people won't remember how we did it or how we played. We need to learn from it and get better and continue to improve. I wasn't discouraged Friday night and I'm not discouraged tonight. I wish we had played better but I still have a lot of confidence in this team." – Head Coach Scott Sutton
Oral Roberts: Owens and Bradley each scored 21 points, while Nzekwesi (17) and Aaron Anderson (nine) led the rebounding efforts. Anderson was also the leading assistant with six helpers, tying his career high in both assists and rebounds.
Rogers State: RSU got 20 points from Hester, eight boards from Sharpe and three assists each from Huffman and Tavian Davis.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU held a 43-32 rebounding advantage over RSU, with 26 of the 43 rebounds coming from Nzekwesi and Anderson.
- ORU shot 46 percent (30-65) for the game and 50 percent (6-12) from 3-point range. RSU got hot in the second half (48 percent) and finished the game shooting 42 percent (25-59) from the field and 43 percent (9-21) from 3-point range.
- The Golden Eagles out-shot RSU at the line, going 21-28 as compared to the Hillcats' 17-21 mark.
- For the second game in a row to start the season, ORU was not credited with a block. The Golden Eagles had a streak of 17 straight games with a block entering the 2016-17 season.
News and Notes
- In one exhibition game and one regular season game at the Mabee Center this year, ORU has trailed for a combined 46 seconds.
- Nzekwesi's 17 rebounds are the most by a Golden Eagle since Korey Billbury had 17 against Haskell in 2014.
- ORU is now 7-0 against Rogers State, but 1-0 in games that counted for the regular season for the Golden Eagles. Monday's contest was an exhibition for the Hillcats.
ORU is off to paradise, traveling to the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. ORU's tournament begins Friday, November 18, at 2 p.m. (CT) as the Golden Eagles face Ole Miss in the first round of the bracketed tournament. ORU will then play the winner/loser of the St. Joseph's vs. Loyola (Chicago) first round game.
For the latest information on ORU men's basketball, follow @ORUMBB on Twitter or Instagram or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.