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Michigan State Holds off ORU, 80-76

Michigan State Holds off ORU, 80-76

Box Score |  Season Stats  |  2016-17 Schedule  |  Tickets

The Basics
Score: Michigan State 80 – Oral Roberts 76
Records: MSU (5-4) – ORU (1-7)
Location: East Lansing, Mich. (Breslin Center)

EAST LANSING, Mich.  – A two-point game with 20 seconds to play, the Oral Roberts men's basketball put a scare into the Breslin Center crowd of 14,797, but Michigan State made enough free throws to hold off the ORU charge, as the Spartans won the game, 80-76.

Emmanuel Nzekwesi led the ORU offense with his third double-double of the season, scoring a career-high 21 points and grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds with six offensive rebounds. Jalen Bradley added 17 points and six assists and Albert Owens scored 15. Kris Martin scored 16, including a four-point play that made it a two point margin with 20 seconds to play.

Nick Ward was 8-11 inside for Michigan State with a game-high 24 points. Cassius Winston added 15 and nine assists, while Eron Harris chipped in 12 points.

ORU out-rebounded Michigan State 38-37 and used it to a 17-10 advantage in second chance points.

Quote of the Game
"I appreciate Coach Izzo for letting us come up here and play Michigan State. We've played all over the country and this is certainly one of the elite programs in America. I'm proud of our guys. We've come a long way since Thursday night at Oakland. We made some mistakes that didn't allow us to win the game, but I feel much better about this group," Coach Scott Sutton.

Turning Point
Martin drilled a 3-pointer and drew the foul with 20 seconds to play, making it a 78-76 game, but Winston hit both free throws and ORU could not connect on a pair of 3-point attempts to extend the game.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Nzekwesi led ORU in scoring (21 points) and rebounding (13 rebounds), while Bradley continued to distribute the ball well with six assists.  
Michigan State: Ward came off the bench to score 24 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Spartans.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot just 39 percent (25-65) from the field, but 17 second chance points helped the Golden Eagles to their highest scoring total since scoring 88 in overtime against Ole Miss.

- ORU had four different Golden Eagles hit a three as ORU went 8-18 (44 percent) from long range.

- MSU shot 44 percent (24-54) from the field and 35 percent (7-20) from 3-point range.

- The Spartans held a 25-18 advantage in made free throws, getting to the line 13 times more than ORU.  

News and Notes
- Nzekwesi notched his third double-double of the season, and nearly did so in the first half alone with 13 points and nine rebounds at the break.

- Saturday was the first ever meeting between ORU and Michigan State, as well as between Sutton and Tom Izzo, who are two of the 16 longest tenured coaches in America.

- The 12 points were a new career high for Nzekwesi, who had his second 20-point performance of the season after scoring 20 against Ole Miss.

- Bradley has averaged 6.7 assists per game over the past three games, dishing out at least six helpers in each contest.

Up Next 
ORU will stay on the road but make a much shorter trip on Wednesday as the Golden Eagles travel to Oklahoma for a 7 p.m. tip off in a game that will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. 

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.

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