ORU Beats Western Illinois 81-66 for Third Straight Summit League Win

ORU Beats Western Illinois 81-66 for Third Straight Summit League Win

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The Basics
Score: Oral Roberts 81 – Western Illinois 66
Record: ORU (7-11, 3-0 SL) – WIU (8-6, 0-2 SL)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Mabee Center)

TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team led for more than 30 minutes and by as many as 22 points on Saturday as the Golden Eagles beat Western Illinois 81-66 to move to 3-0 in Summit League play.

Emmanuel Nzekwesi and Javan White again led the way for the Golden Eagles as the duo combined for 22 of ORU's 44 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards. In addition to his 10 rebounds, Nzekwesi scored 21 points for his fourth straight double-double. White scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, his 10th double digit rebounding effort and seventh double-double of the year. R.J. Fuqua dropped in 18 points while Albert Owens scored 10.

Dalan Ancrum scored 25 points for Western Illinois, while Brandon Gilbeck had a team-high nine rebounds to go with 11 points and five blocks. Kobe Webster scored 18 points.

ORU dominated the glass to a 44-25 rebounding advantage, including 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 25 second chance points. ORU also had 10 steals on 12 WIU turnovers, which gave ORU another 25 points off turnovers.

Quote of the Game
"First off, I just want to glorify the name of the Lord. He's been with us through the good and the bad and we just want to give Him the glory. We came out and did what we had to do, winning the rebounding battle and playing with effort." – Sophomore Emmanuel Nzekwesi

Turning Point
A tie game with 6:46 to play in the half, ORU used an 8-0 run to grab the lead and never looked back. The ORU advantage was never fewer than five the rest of the game.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Nzekwesi led the scoring efforts with 21 points and White grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. Sam Kearns dished out three assists and Fuqua, White and Nzekwesi each had three steals.
Western Illinois:
Ancrum scored 25 points while Gilbeck led the Leathernecks in rebounds and blocks with nine and five, respectively.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 45 percent (30-66) from the field and 40 percent (6-15) from 3-point range.

- ORU was near perfect at the line, going 15-16 from the charity stripe, the best percentage since hitting 16-17 against IUPUI on February 11, 2017.

- Western Illinois shot 44 percent (26-58) from the field and 33 percent (7-21) from 3-point range. The Leathernecks connected on 87 percent (7-8) from the free throw line.

- ORU held a 44-25 rebounding advantage, including 19 offensive rebounds.

News and Notes
- ORU's 19 rebound advantage was the second highest margin of the season, having doubled up Florida Gulf Coast 40-20 earlier in the season.

- ORU is 3-0 in league play for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

- With four blocks in the game, Owens now has 141 blocks for his career, moving him to fourth in the ORU record books, having passed Damen Bell-Holter who had a 139 blocks from 2009-13.

- For the third straight game, ORU led for more than 30 minutes and moved to 137-37 at home since the 2004-05 season, including a 93-21 mark at home in league contests during that time.

- Through the first 14 games of the season, ORU never had a run of more than nine consecutive points, but the Golden Eagles have had runs of 10-0 or better in three of the last four games.

-  For the second game in a row and the second time this year, ORU's bench out-scored its opponent, 14-10.

Up Next
Having started Summit League play with three straight home games, ORU will head to the Dakotas for the next three games, beginning with a trip to South Dakota State on Thursday, January 11.      

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).


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