Score: Western Illinois 63 – Oral Roberts 60
Records: WIU (8-15, 5-7) – ORU (7-19, 3-9)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Mabee Center)
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team mounted a 13-1 run to get within a point with six seconds to go, but Western Illinois hit a pair of free throws and a long 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as the Leathernecks held on to beat ORU 63-60 Wednesday night at the Mabee Center.
Aaron Anderson, Albert Owens and Kris Martin all scored 14 points to lead the offensive attack for ORU. Anderson also led the rebounding effort with nine boards, while Jalen Bradley dished out a team-high four assists.
Garret Covington finished with 20 points to lead the Leathernecks, while Jeremiah Usiosefe tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Quote of the Game
"Our defense finally stepped up and allowed us to stay in the game while we couldn't' get anything going offensively. It just didn't seem like we had the energy until five and a half minutes left and the guys started playing desperate. I've pleaded with the guys that that is how we've had to play the last five or six games. We did it the last five or six minutes and gave ourselves a chance but dug too big of a hole." – Head Coach Scott Sutton
ORU used an 11-0 run to make it a two point game, and after a WIU free throw a wild sequence of events ended in a jumper from Bradley to make it a one point game with a few seconds to go. Usiosefe hit two free throws with less than a second to play and ORU was left with a desperation heave that would not fall.
Oral Roberts: Anderson, Martin and Owens each scored 14 points for ORU, while Anderson grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Western Illinois: Covington scored 20 points while Usiosefe had 10 rebounds.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot just 35 percent (23-65) from the field and 27 percent (7-26) from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles were 7-10 from the free throw line.
- WIU hit 44 percent (24-55) from the field and 32 percent (7-22) from 3-point range. The Leathernecks hit 8-12 from the free throw line.
- The Leathernecks out-rebounded ORU 42-37, although ORU held a 10-6 advantage in second chance points.
News and Notes
- After posting at least one 20-point scorer in 11 straight games, ORU has now gone two straight without a player reaching 20 points.
- The 63 points give up to Western Illinois were the fewest since only allowing 48 to Little Rock December 19.
- ORU gave up just 29 points in the first half, the fifth half this season in which ORU has held a team below 30 points, but the second game in a row after giving up 23 in the first half to South Dakota State.
- The three point loss was the narrowest final margin since falling by one to No. 10 Creighton December 17.
The Golden Eagles will play three of the final four regular season games on the road, including three in a row starting Saturday at IUPUI.
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.