Defense Propels ORU to 76-60 Victory Over Fort Wayne

Defense Propels ORU to 76-60 Victory Over Fort Wayne

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The Basics
Score: Oral Roberts 76 – Fort Wayne 60
Record: ORU (6-11, 2-0) – FW (11-7, 0-1)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Mabee Center)

TULSA, Okla. – With a balanced offensive attack and solid perimeter defense, the Oral Roberts men's basketball team ran away from Fort Wayne 76-60 Thursday night at the Mabee Center.

ORU got at least five points from six different players with four scoring 13 or more, led by Sam Kearns who matched his career high with 21 points. Emmanuel Nzekwesi (14 points, 14 rebounds) and Javan White (13 points, 12 rebounds) each earned the double-double, while Albert Owens narrowly missed the achievement with 16 points and eight rebounds.

The bulk of Fort Wayne's offense came from two players as Bryson Scott scored 20 points and John Konchar had 19 points and three rebounds.

 After starting slow on the glass, ORU responded and out-rebounded Fort Wayne 47-37 for the game.

Quote of the Game
"I'm really proud of our guys. We put in a game plan two days ago that was really different than anything we have done before, and for those guys to execute is a tribute to them. They are 15th in the country in regards to shooting the three and we knew that we had to do a good job defending the arc and we held them to 3-23." – ORU Head Coach Paul Mills

Turning Point
A late first half run extended through halftime and ORU out-scored Fort Wayne 34-11 over a span of just over nine minutes to break the game open with a 21-point lead with 12:34 to play in the game.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Kearns led the scoring with 21 points while Nzekwesi grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out six assists. Owens swatted a game-high four shots.
Fort Wayne:
Scott led the Mastodons with 20 points while Konchar grabbed nine rebounds.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 47 percent (31-66) from the field and 33 percent (7-21) from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles hit 70 percent (7-10) from the free throw line.

- Fort Wayne managed to shoot just 33 percent (23-68) from the field and 13 percent (3-23) from the 3-point line. The Mastodons connected on 61 percent (11-18) from the free throw line.

- ORU out-rebounded the Mastodons 47-37 and out-scored them 44-32 in the paint.

News and Notes
- ORU started 2-0 in league play for the first time since the 2012-13 season when ORU beat Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State as members of the Southland Conference.

- For the third time this year, ORU led for more than 30 minutes at home, moving to 136-37 at home since the start of the 2004-05 season. ORU led for 33:25 and by as many as 23. Fort Wayne never led by more than three and led for just 2:30.

- For the second game in a row, ORU's bench out-scored the opponent's bench, with a dominant 23-5 advantage Thursday.

- Thursday's victory snapped a five game losing streak in the series against Fort Wayne.

- Prior to the game tonight, Owens was one of 30 men's basketball student-athletes selected as a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award. ORU women's basketball player Faith Ihim was one of 30 women's basketball student-athletes selected as well, making ORU and Duke the only two schools with candidates for the men's and women's awards.

- The first 20 minutes was about the runs. Each team put together an early 7-0 spurt, but it was ORU who had the final run, out-scoring Fort Wayne 9-2 to end the half up five.

Up Next
ORU finishes its three game home stand as Western Illinois comes to the Mabee Center Saturday evening for a 7 p.m. contest.     

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. For tickets, visit mabeecenter.com or call 495-7ORU (7678).

---#ORURiseUp---

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