Score: Oral Roberts 93 – Omaha 74
Record: ORU (5-11, 1-0) – UNO (4-12, 0-1)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Mabee Center)
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team nearly led from wire-to-wire in a 93-74 win over Omaha Saturday night at the Mabee Center to open Summit League play.
The Golden Eagles led for 39:22 of the game and trailed for just nine seconds before responding with a 13-0 run. ORU led by as many as 24 with a minute to go in the contest.
Emmanuel Nzekwesi led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Javan White grabbed a game-high 12 boards, helping ORU to a 47-38 rebounding advantage. ORU got 17 points from R.J. Fuqua, who set a career high with eight assists, while Sam Kearns chipped in 16 points, his highest scoring output since dropping 21 at Kansas State November 29. Jontray Harris came off the bench to score a career best 12 points, the second double digit scoring effort of his career.
Omaha was led by Daniel Norl who scored 23 points and dished out seven assists, while Zach Jackson grabbed a team high nine rebounds.
Quote of the Game
"I thought we shot it well and defensively we did a good job. We want to hold teams under 40 percent and they ended up shooting 38 percent. We've done a lot to prepare us for the league. You have to win your home games and we feel like we held serve. Omaha is a good basketball team but you know going into the Summit League it is going to be tough." – ORU Coach Paul Mills
Omaha's 3-pointer gave the Mavericks a one point lead, 15-14 with 11:11 to go in the first half. ORU responded with a 13-0 run to take a 27-15 lead with 8:42 to play in the half and ORU never trailed again.
Oral Roberts: Nzekwesi was the leading scorer with 21 points, while White led the way in rebounds with 12. Fuqua had eight assists and Albert Owens had four blocks.
Omaha: Norl scored 23 points and had seven assists to lead the Mavericks. Lamar Wofford-Humphrey had three blocks.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 47 percent (33-69) from the field and 50 percent (11-22) from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles shot 69 percent (16-23) from the free throw line, but Kearns (4-4), Fuqua (4-4) and Owens (2-2) were all perfect from the charity stripe.
- Omaha shot 38 percent (26-68) from the field and 31 percent (9-29) from 3-point range. The Mavericks were 13-19 (68 percent) from the free throw line.
- ORU held a 38-30 advantage in the paint and 16-8 lead in fast break points. Omaha out-scored ORU 26-16 in points off turnovers, even though both teams had 12 turnovers.
News and Notes
- With a 3-pointer at the end of the first half, ORU scored 50 points in the first half of a game for the first time since doing so against South Dakota State on January 12, 2017 and the first time to hang 50 in any half since scoring 56 against Omaha on January 21, 2017.
- For the first time this season, ORU's bench out-scored the opponent, holding a 22-21 edge against Omaha.
- In addition to leading ORU in scoring with 13 points in the first half, Fuqua had already notched a new career high in assists with seven helpers in the first 20 minutes of action. He finished the game with eight assists, matching Kearns for the most by a Golden Eagle this season.
- With four blocks in the game, Owens moved up to 133 career blocks, fifth all-time at ORU having passed Alvin Scott (1973-77) who had 131 career blocks.
- ORU scored a season high 93 points on Saturday, topping the 86 scored against both Avila and Oakland.
- The 11 3-point makes from the Golden Eagles set a new season watermark, having hit 10 treys against Oakland.
- With 21 points, Nzekwesi earned his fifth career 20 point game and team-leading third of the season. He was the team's leading scorer for the sixth time this year and ninth time for his career.
- For the first time since 2013, ORU has started off the conference season with a win. The 2013-14 season was also the last time ORU opened league play at the Mabee Center.
The Golden Eagles will remain home for the next two games, facing Fort Wayne (Jan. 4) and Western Illinois (Jan. 6) in at three game homestand to start Summit League play. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m. from the Mabee Center.
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).