Score: Oral Roberts 86 – Avila 72
Records: ORU (1-0) – Avila (5-0*)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Mabee Center)
* Contest counted as an exhibition for Avila
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team cruised to an 86-72 homecoming victory over Avila Friday night at the Mabee Center. The Golden Eagles led by as many as 21 early in the second half to earn first year head coach Paul Mills his first head coaching victory.
Albert Owens was dominant all night inside with 23 points and nine rebounds, but it was rookie R.J. Fuqua who literally stole the show as the freshman earned nine steals to tie the school record, set by Haywoode Workman in the 1988-89 season.
ORU started the game scoring the first eight points, opened up an early 14-3 lead and never trailed in the contest.
Quote of the Game
"There were a lot of positives," said Mills. "20 offensive rebounds are a huge positive and being able to get 25 points off those 20 offensive rebounds is good. Overall it was a good learning experience. I've said publicly that R.J. is a bulldog and to tie a school record in his first game is really good."
Oral Roberts: Owens' 23 points led all scorers in the contest and led a cast of four double-digit scorers for ORU. Javan White grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds while Fuqua had nine steals. Fuqua and James Conley tied for the team lead with four assists each.
Avila: Tevin Taylor scored 15 points, while Josh Benford added 14 and Dominique Washington chipped in 13. Benford and Washington each had eight rebounds.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 46 percent (35-75) for the game, including 52 percent (21-40) in the first half.
- ORU out-rebounded Avila 51-34, including 20 offensive rebounds by the Golden Eagles.
- Avila shot 43 percent (23-60) from the field and 41 percent (10-24) from 3-point range.
- As expected with ORU's front line, the Golden Eagles dominated the paint to the tune of a 54-26 advantage in points in the paint.
- Thanks to Fuqua's nine steals, ORU stole the ball 11 times and got 22 points off turnovers.
News and Notes
- ORU won its season opener for the fourth time in five years, with three of those wins coming at home.
- ORU got points from eight different scorers, all of whom had at least five points.
- The Golden Eagles played 11 different players in the game.
- In his first game as a Golden Eagle, Fuqua tied the single game steals record for ORU with nine, a feat that Haywoode Workman accomplished twice during the 1988-89 season, doing so against Oklahoma (12/29/1988) and South Carolina (1/28/1989).
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 ORU Athletics Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or the ORU Golden Eagles Live App in iTunes or the Google Play Store. For tickets, visit mabeecenter.com or call 495-7ORU (7678).