Score: South Dakota State 84 – Oral Roberts 65
Record: SDSU (14-6, 4-1) – ORU (7-13, 3-2)
Location: Brookings, S.D. (Frost Arena)
BROOKINGS, S.D. – A slow start that included a 1-of-9 mark from the field was too much for the Oral Roberts men's basketball team to overcome Saturday, as the Golden Eagles fell to preseason favorite South Dakota State 84-65 at Frost Arena.
Emmanuel Nzekwesi put together a strong second half and finished with 14 points, three blocks and a career high 18 rebounds. Carlos Jürgens also scored 14 points and had a team high five assists and two steals, and DeShang Weaver chipped in 13 points and matched his career high with six rebounds.
Two-time Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum scored 37 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Jackrabbits. Skyler Flatten and David Jenkins each scored 15 as the trio accounted for 67 of the team's 84 points and 20 of the team's 32 rebounds.
Quote of the Game
"Our inability to play well in the first half put us in a pretty big deficit. I thought we settled in, but some of our younger guys were content with shooting jump shots. We relied on the three-ball too much early and it made it hard on our interior. We can do other things like get to the paint and get the ball to others, but because we were settling we fell behind early." – ORU Head Coach Paul Mills
ORU struggled from the tip and started the game just 1-9 from the floor which led to a 30-9 hole 10 minutes into the game.
Oral Roberts: Nzekwesi and Jürgens led the way in scoring with 14 points while Nzekewsi's career high 18 rebounds was a game-high. Jürgens also dished out five assists and had two steals.
South Dakota State: Daum scored 37 points on a 13-24 shooting effort, matching Jenkins with eight rebounds each. Alex Arians had nine assists and Tevin King recorded eight steals.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU overcame the slow start and shot 43 percent (27-63) from the field, 33 percent (8-24) from 3-point range and 43 percent (3-7) from the free throw line.
- SDSU shot 47 percent (30-63) from the field, 35 percent (11-31) from 3-point range and 72 percent (13-18) from the free throw line.
- ORU held a 42-32 rebounding advantage, but SDSU led 38-34 in points in the paint and each team had 15 second-chance points.
News and Notes
- Nzekwesi grabbed 12 second half rebounds and finished the game with a career high 18 boards, topping his previous high of 17 set against Rogers State.
- Nzekwesi was 33rd in the country in double-doubles entering Saturday's game, and with his seventh of the season will likely move up even further.
- Jürgens finished the game with 14 points, a season best against Division I opponents and one point off his career high of 15 points scored against Ecclesia.
- Weaver grabbed six rebounds which matched his career high, also set against Ecclesia.
- ORU made a season low three free throws on seven attempts, which was also a season low.
- All nine players who saw action in the game scored at least two points.
The Golden Eagles face a split week, hosting South Dakota Thursday, January 17, at the Mabee Center before traveling to Denver Sunday, January 20.
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).