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No. 4 NDSU Topples No. 5 ORU 86-73

No. 4 NDSU Topples No. 5 ORU 86-73

Box Score (PDF)  |  Photos  |  Press ConferenceSeason Stats 

The Basics
Score: North Dakota State 86 – Oral Roberts 73
Record: NDSU (16-15) – ORU (11-21)
Location: Sioux Falls, S.D. / Sanford PREMIER Center

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A hot start offensively turned ice cold in the second half for the Oral Roberts men's basketball team as the No. 5 Golden Eagles fell 86-73 to No. 4 North Dakota State in the Summit League quarterfinals Sunday evening at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

ORU started the game 10-10 from the field as the Golden Eagles quickly opened up a 13-point lead less than seven minutes into the game. After the halftime break, ORU started 0-17 from the field before finally getting a shot to fall, and shot just 20 percent for the half.

Kevin Obanor, the league's Freshman of the Year, had a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds, going 12-15 from the free throw line. Sam Kearns also reached double figures for ORU with 16 points. In his final game as a Golden Eagle, Kaelen Malone had eight assists.  Kerwin Smith ended his ORU career with six points and five rebounds, as well as two steals.

Tyson Ward was 7-10 from the field and 11-13 from the free throw line en route to 25 points to lead NDSU. Jared Samuelson added 15 points and Cameron Hunter scored 13. Rocky Kreuser grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.

Quote of the Game
"We were the youngest team in this league by a wide margin in regards to minutes continuity. It was good for us to be in this kind of experience. We are obviously disappointed in the outcome but I am proud of the guys in the locker room." – ORU Head Coach Paul Mills

Turning Point
ORU started the second half 0-17 from the field, and despite hanging around with free throws, the Golden Eagles found themselves down double digits before the first bucket fell.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Obanor led ORU in scoring (25 points) and rebounding (10 rebounds), while Malone led the way with eight assists and Smith had two steals.
North Dakota State: Ward led the way with 25 points while Kreuser had eight rebounds and four blocks.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 42 percent (24-57) from the field for the game, going 18-27 (66 percent) in the first half, but just 6-30 (20 percent) in the second half.

- ORU was 10-24 (42 percent) from 3-point range and 15-23 (65 percent) from the free throw line in the game.

- NDSU shot 59 percent (25-42) from the field, 50 percent (10-20) from 3-point range and 72 percent (26-36) from the free throw line.

- ORU out-rebounded the Bison 33-28 but held just a 9-6 edge in second chance points. The Bison used ORU's 11 turnovers to a 16-6 advantage in points off turnovers.

News and Notes
- Obanor secured his seventh double-double of the season, and his fourth 20/10 game with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

- With the 25 point effort, Obanor finished the season as ORU's leading scorer at 14.9 points, the sixth highest average for a freshman in program history, topping the 14.6 averaged by All-American Mark Acres.

- Obanor is the first freshman to lead ORU in scoring since Ken Tutt in 2003-04. '

- Emmanuel Nzekwesi finished his junior season with 1,084 points and 642 rebounds three years into his career. He will enter his senior season 27th in ORU history in scoring, and just 39 rebounds away from the top 10 in school history.

- Up 48-43 at the break, Sunday marked just the third time this season in 14 games in which ORU lost after holding the lead at halftime.

- ORU is now 1-2 all-time as the number five seed in the Summit League Tournament. Sunday marked the first time since 2000 in which ORU has been the fifth seed.

- The 59 combined free throws were the second most in an ORU game this season behind the 64 free throws in ORU's win against James Madison.

- ORU started the second half 0-17 from the field before finally getting a put-back from Obanor with 6:57 to play.

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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