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Quick Start Leads ORU Past WIU 77-67

Quick Start Leads ORU Past WIU 77-67

The Basics
Score: Oral Roberts 77 – Western Illinois 67
Records: 
ORU 14-11 (7-4 SL) – WIU 8-14 (3-8 SL)
Location: Mabee Center – Tulsa, Okla.

TULSA, Okla. – Oral Roberts jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed as the Golden Eagles topped Western Illinois 77-67 Thursday evening at the Mabee Center.

ORU led by as many as 16 after an 11-0 run in the second half, but wasn't able to put it on cruise control as WIU got the lead to as few as five inside the final five minutes.

The Golden Eagles were led by Korey Billbury's 20 points, while Obi Emegano added 19 in the victory. Denell Henderson led the rebounding efforts with eight boards, including six offensive rebounds. Billbury and Emegano each grabbed seven rebounds. Aaron Young had his best game at point guard, tallying a career-high eight assists without turning the ball over.

J.C. Fuller hit three 3-pointers for WIU en route to a team-high 18 points, while Jalen Chapman scored 13 and grabbed eight rebounds for the leathernecks. Jabari Sandifer matched Young's effort with eight rebounds, but also turned the ball over six times. 

Quote of the Game
"I didn't think we played with the type of energy or intelligence that we need to play with. I'm glad we won but that game should never have been a ballgame. I give a lot of credit to Western because their kids fought and battled and made some plays." – Coach Scott Sutton

Turning Point
ORU jumped out to a 10-0 lead, thanks in part to a defense that forced two air balls and four turnovers, including a charge in the first four minutes of the game. After taking the double-digit lead, ORU never trailed in the contest.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Korey Billbury scored a game-high 20 points, his 19th career 20-point performance, while Denell Henderson grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Aaron Young dished out a career-high eight assists in the game.
Western Illinois: J.C. Fuller was 7-15 from the field and scored 18 points. Jalen Chapman had 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. 

Inside the Box Score
- ORU had 14 assists on 28 made baskets, but also turned the ball over 14 times.
- The Golden Eagles shot the ball well in the first half (16-31, 52 percent), but just 40 percent (12-30) in the second half.
- Western Illinois was the opposite, shooting 31 percent (9-29) in the first half but exploding for nearly 60 percent (16-27) in the second.
- ORU had a 39-33 rebounding advantage and a 12-2 benefit in second chance points.

News & Notes
- ORU put the clamps on defensively to start the game, forcing Western Illinois into two air balls and four turnovers, including a charge, as the Leathernecks went scoreless for the first 4:30 of the game.
- With the victory, ORU is now 28-7 all-time against Western Illinois and has swept the regular season series for the third straight time as Summit League opponents.
- Obi Emegano's jumper at the end of the first half was the 10th time this year, and second game in a row, in which ORU has scored in the final five seconds of a half.
- ORU is now 9-1 at home this year, marking the 13th straight year in which ORU has won at least nine home games.
- Combined with his 28 in the first meeting, Emegano has now scored 47 points in two games against his former team.
- ORU shot just 25 percent (3-12) from 3-point range, but kept the streak alive, having now hit a 3-pointer in 81 consecutive games.
- Despite a dominant record at home, Thursday marked the third time this year, but the first time against a Division I opponent in which ORU never trailed in a game at home.

Up Next
ORU remains at home Saturday to take on South Dakota. Tip off from the Mabee Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and available on the WatchESPN app. 

For the latest information on ORU men's basketball, follow @ORUMBB on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com.

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