Four Golden Eagles Earn Summit League Honors

Four Golden Eagles Earn Summit League Honors

ELMHURST, Ill. – Including two specialty award winners, Oral Roberts had four men's basketball players honored by The Summit League as the postseason awards were announced Wednesday evening.

 Albert Owens was named the Sixth Man of the Year while Austin Ruder took Transfer of the Year honors. Emmanuel Nzekwesi was an honorable mention All-Summit League pick and Sam Kearns was an All-Newcomer selection.

Owens became ORU's fourth Sixth Man of the Year honoree and the first since 2011-12 when Steven Roundtree earned the distinction. Owens was the second leading scorer for ORU this year and the leading shot blocker with 48 blocks. He needs two additional blocks to crack the single season top 10 list, and needs to add six blocks to his career total of 158 blocks to tie Mark Acres (1981-85) for second in ORU history. Owens and Nzekwesi have each led ORU in scoring eight times this season and each have five 20-point performances this season. Owens first career double-double came in dominant fashion as the senior scored 33 points with 10 rebounds and seven blocks against Oakland.

 Despite missing 10 games in the middle of the season, Ruder was named ORU's first Transfer of the Year after the Newcomer of the Year award was split in 2015-16. Ruder is tied for third on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game and has the second most 3-pointers (57) made this season and is the most efficient 3-point shooter on the team who have more than 20 attempts at 35.8 percent. Ruder has led the team in scoring four times with 11 double-digit scoring efforts. He scored a season best 20 points against Oakland and had 18 points with six 3-pointers, including the game-winner, against North Dakota State, earning him top play honors on SportsCenter's Top 10.

 Nzekwesi has been a consistent force this season for ORU with a team-best 22 double-digit scoring outputs and has recorded six double-doubles this season. He scored a career best 24 points in ORU's dominant win at Florida Gulf Coast and grabbed a season high 15 rebounds at Minnesota. The sophomore scored 20 or more points five times this season, including 21 against both Omaha and Western Illinois to help ORU to a 3-0 start to Summit League Play. From the end of nonconference schedule to the start of league play, Nzekwesi had four straight double-doubles.

 Kearns earned a spot on the All-Newcomer team after doing a little of everything for the Golden Eagles. A consistent 3-point threat, Kearns leads the team in made triples and has made at least one 3-pointer in 30 straight games. He dished out nine assists at South Dakota, the most by a Golden Eagle this season and grabbed six rebounds in ORU's win over Missouri State. He ranks second in The Summit League in assists at 127 and fifth in made 3-pointers with 67.

First Team All-Summit League
Mike Daum, South Dakota State
John Konchar, Fort Wayne
Paul Miller, North Dakota State
Matt Mooney, South Dakota
Joe Rosga, Denver
Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne

Second Team All-Summit League
Daniel Amigo, Denver
Trey Burch-Manning, South Dakota
Tyler Hagedorn, South Dakota
Zach Jackson, Omaha
David Jenkins, South Dakota State

Honorable Mention All-Summit League
Brandon Gilbeck, Western Illinois
Emmanuel Nzekwesi, Oral Roberts
Triston Simpson, South Dakota
Reed Tellinghuisen, South Dakota State
Kobe Webster, Western Illinois

All-Newcomer Team
Nick Fuller, South Dakota
Cameron Hunter, North Dakota State
David Jenkins, Jr., South Dakota State
Sam Kearns, Oral Roberts
Kobe Webster, Western Illinois

Player of the Year
Mike Daum, South Dakota State

Transfer of the Year
Austin Ruder, Oral Roberts

Freshman of the Year
David Jenkins, Jr., South Dakota State

Sixth Man of the Year
Albert Owens, Oral Roberts

Defensive Player of the Year
Brandon Gilbeck, Western Illinois

Coach of the Year
T.J. Otzelberger, South Dakota State

Up Next
ORU will head to The Summit League Tournament March 3-6 at the Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.  The Golden Eagles will face No. 3 Denver Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. in a contest that will be broadcast on MidcoSN and ESPN3.

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).

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