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ORU Stumbles Late; Falls 73-66 at Denver

ORU Stumbles Late; Falls 73-66 at Denver

The Basics
Score: Denver 73 - ORU 66
Denver (9-10, 3-3 SL) - ORU (10-9, 4-2 SL)
Location: Magness Arena - Denver, Colo.

DENVER, Colo. - Despite one of its best shooting performances in more than a year, the Oral Roberts men's basketball team went cold down the stretch and fell 73-66 at Denver Wednesday night.

The Golden Eagles shot 61 percent (25-41) for the game, the first time shooting above 60 percent from the field since November 16, 2013, but scored just one point in the final 6:59 of the contest after grabbing a 12-point lead.

Denell Henderson posted the best offensive performance of his career, scoring 18 points, including 14 in the first half. Henderson was 6-9 from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line. Darian Harris also posted a career night for ORU with career highs in points (9), 3-pointers (3) and rebounds with a team-high seven boards.

Nate Engesser scored 18 points to lead the Pioneers while Marcus Byrd added 11. Preseason Summit League Player of the Year Brett Olson was just 3-8 for the night for nine points.

Quote of the Game
"It was a total collapse on our part, on both ends of the court. Darian played a good game but our two all-conference caliber guards in Korey and Obi have to step up and make plays in a game like this." - Head Coach Scott Sutton

Turning Point
ORU took a 12-point lead (65-53) on Obi Emegano's jumper with 6:59 to go, but would not hit another field goal the rest of the way as Denver finished the game out-scoring ORU 20-1.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Denell Henderson led the way with 18 pointis. Korey Billbury (12) and Obi Emegano (10) each hit double figures as well. Darian Harris led the Golden Eagles in rebounding with a career high seven boards.
Denver: Nate Engesser was 7-9 and 4-5 from 3-point range en route to a team-high 18 points. Marcus Byrd was the only other Pioneer in double figures with 11.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU hit 10 of its first 11 shots of the game and went on to shoot 14-19 (73.7 percent) in the first half, but turned it over eight times in the first 20 minutes.
- The Golden Eagles lost despite shooting 61 percent (25-41) for the game, the best field goal percentage since November 16, 2013 against Texas State.
- ORU got to the free throw line 17 times and hit just 10 of them (58.8 percent). It was the fewest free throws made since hitting six against Oklahoma.
- Denver held an eight-point edge at the free throw line, connecting on 18 of 21 (85.7 percent) of their attempts. ORU is now 0-5 this year when its opponent makes more free throws.

News & Notes
- ORU was held without a field goal for the final 6:59 of the game.
- Denver ended the game on a 20-1 run.
- The loss snapped ORU's four-game winning streak.
- Denell Henderson set new career highs in points (18) and made free throws (6).
- Darian Harris had his best game as a Golden Eagle with career highs in points (9), field goals (3), 3-pointers (3) and rebounds (7).

Up Next
ORU returns home to face South Dakota State Saturday night at 7 p.m. ORU will welcome its three newest hall of famers at halftime of the game with an unveiling of the new ORU Athletics Hall of Fame display in the North Lobby of the Mabee Center at noon.

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

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