Score: Oral Roberts 72 – Western Illinois 66
Records: ORU (13-14, 5-8) – WIU (9-14, 2-10)
Location: Mabee Center (Tulsa, Okla.)
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team opened up an early lead and used clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to hold off a Western Illinois charge, winning it 72-66 Saturday evening at the Mabee Center.
ORU was 10-12 from the free throw line in the final five minutes and 23-27 from the charity stripe for the game. Obi Emegano scored 12 of his team-leading 26 points from the line, and had 18 points after halftime. Albert Owens matched his career high with 21 points, including an emphatic dunk off a pass from Kris Martin with less than four minutes to go that gave ORU a six-point lead and gave the Golden Eagles some breathing room after WIU had cut the lead to two. Emegano and Owens also led ORU on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds each.
Garret Covington led WIU with 22 points, while Jalen Chapman earned a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
ORU led in rebounding 35-34 and dominated the paint with a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint. ORU also used 15 WIU turnovers to a 20-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
ORU used an early 14-0 run to open up a 14-point lead less than five minutes into the game. ORU never trailed in the game.
Quote of the Game
"With us winning I can look back and say that it is good for us to win this kind of game. We had lost a couple of games similar to this and to be able to win like this gives your guys confidence and a sense of toughness to win in crunch time." – Coach Scott Sutton
Oral Roberts: Emegano scored 26 and Owens scored 21 while each grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
Western Illinois: Covington's 22 points and Chapman's double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds led the Leathernecks.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 42 percent (23-54) from the field, but just 30 percent (3-10) from 3-point range. Until the final minutes, WIU had gotten to the line more, but ORU finished 23-27 from the charity stripe while WIU was 16-26.
- WIU shot 40 percent (21-52) from the field and 50 percent (8-16) from 3-point range.
- ORU did not hit a 3-pointer in the second half, and the 30 percent from long range was the lowest in a win since going 6-23 (.261) against John Brown.
- The three treys were the fewest since going 2-9 against New Mexico State December 21.
News and Notes
- After making their longest run of the season at 18-0 on Thursday night, the Golden Eagles matched their second longest spurt with a 14-0 run early on Saturday to take an 18-3 lead.
- ORU started the game 7-8 from the field, but cooled considerably and the Golden Eagles missed their last seven field goal attempts from the field. ORU's only two points in the final 3:46 of the half were free throws from Aaron Young with less than a second remaining to put ORU up 36-27 at the break.
- Owens has caught fire lately with four-straight double-digit scoring efforts. His 21 points matched his career high from an overtime effort against FIU in November.
- Emegano topped the 20-point mark for the eight straight game. With 26 on Saturday, Emegano has averaged 25.75 points per game in four games against his former team. Only once have the Leathernecks held him to less than 20.
- In addition to his offense, Owens set a new career high with five blocks. He is the first Golden Eagle with five rejections since Denell Henderson's six blocks against IUPUI almost exactly a year ago.
The Golden Eagles will play their final home game of the year Friday, February 19, as ORU hosts Denver. The Golden Eagle seniors will be honored following the game and halftime festivities will include the 14th annual TTCU Diaper Dash.
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.