Score: South Carolina 84 – Oral Roberts 66
Records: USC (2-0) – ORU (1-1)
Location: Colonial Life Arena – Columbia, S.C.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Down just three at the break, rebounding woes caught up to the Oral Roberts men's basketball team Monday night as the Golden Eagles fell 84-66 to South Carolina.
The Gamecocks held a 44-28 edge on the glass, including 19 offensive rebounds that turned into 25 second-chance points.
Obi Emegano led all scorers with 31 points, the fifth 30-point effort of his career. Laimonas Chatkevicius led the Gamecocks with 27 points.
After ORU used a 12-2 run to take a 28-21 lead late in the first half, South Carolina closed with a 12-2 run of their own to take the 33-30 lead at halftime.
Quote of the Game
"Coach Martin's teams have always been tough and they take pride in their toughness. We told our guys that they had better match their intensity and you had better match their toughness and the last part of the first half we struggled to do that. We aren't going to beat that team giving up 19 offensive rebounds. Our first shot defense was pretty good and good enough to win but our inability to keep them off the glass killed us." – Coach Scott Sutton
Oral Roberts: Emegano led all scorers with 31 points, including a 10-10 mark from the free throw line. DaQuan Jeffries led the way with eight rebounds, while Aaron Anderson had six assists, the most by a Golden Eagle to start the season and the most since Aaron Young had eight helpers against Western Illinois February 12, 2015.
South Carolina: Chatkevicius had a career high 27 points, while Mindaugas Kacinas notched the double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Inside the Box Score
- The first half was one of runs. ORU went on a 6-0 run early and then put together a 12-2 spurt that included eight straight to take a 28-21 lead.
- After the Golden Eagles mounted the seven point lead, the Gamecocks scored the next 10 to retake the lead.
- Emegano had 16 points to lead all scorers in the first half. In last year's game against the SEC's Missouri, Emegano had 18 points in the first frame. In both games he went on to top the 30-point mark.
- South Carolina out-rebounded ORU 44-28 and used 19 offensive boards to score 25 second-chance points.
- ORU shot 43 percent (22-51) for the game from the field, but struggled from 3-point range, hitting just 28.6 percent (4-14).
- South Carolina did not shoot the ball particularly well, hitting 39 percent (29-73) from the field and 33 percent (7-21) from 3-point range.
- The two teams combined to shoot 50 free throws. ORU was 18-23 (78 percent) while USC was 19-27 (70 percent)
News and Notes
- ORU was without a 3-pointer in the first half (0-2). The last time ORU went a full game without a made 3-pointer was against Memphis (Dec. 28, 2012), a streak of 91 straight games. Emegano made sure that the streak moved to 92 games as he drained a corner triple to start the second half.
- Albert Owens matched his career high with four blocks in the game, and now has a combined seven blocks in the first two games.
- ORU is 0-2 against the SEC in the last two seasons.
- Emegano's 31 points marked the first 30-point game in The Summit League this year.
The Golden Eagles will travel up to Harrisonburg, Virginia, for the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic at James Madison.
For the latest information on ORU men's basketball, follow @ORUMBB on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.