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Fast Start Pushes No. 20 TCU Past ORU, 79-62

Fast Start Pushes No. 20 TCU Past ORU, 79-62

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The Basics
Score: TCU 79 – Oral Roberts 62
Record: TCU (2-0) – ORU (1-2)
Location: Fort Worth, Texas (Schollmaier Arena)

FORT WORTH, Texas – No. 20 TCU jumped out to an early lead and the Oral Roberts men's basketball team could not erase the deficit as the Golden Eagles fell 79-62 to the Horned Frogs, Sunday afternoon at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

Emmanuel Nzekwesi led ORU with 16 points and eight rebounds, but it was a balanced offense for ORU with four players scoring in double figures. Sam Kearns scored 15, while Kaelen Malone added 11 and Kerwin Smith dropped in 10. Malone and Aidan Saunders combined for nine of the team's 12 assist while Saunders and Nzekewsi each grabbed three of the team's seven steals.

TCU got 23 points from Alex Robinson and 22 points from Desmond Bane, while Kevin Samuel earned the double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. J.D. Miller had a game-high seven assists.

Quote of the Game
"I was proud that we didn't have any quit in us. We didn't establish ourselves defensively, but after the 25-8 start we basically played them even from there. I am proud of the guys in the fact that I thought they were dialed in and they never laid down. They fought the entire time." – Coach Paul Mills

Turning Point
ORU closed the gap from the early deficit but the Horned Frogs put together a 12-2 run in the second half that pushed the game out of reach as the lead swelled to as many as 25. The Golden Eagles out-scored TCU 17-9 over the final 6:34.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Nzekwesi led ORU with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Malone dished out a team best five assist. Nzekwesi and Saunders each accounted for three of the team's seven steals.
TCU: Robinson scored 23 to lead the Horned Frog attack, while Samuel grabbed 11 rebounds. Miller had seven assists for TCU.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 36 percent (23-63) from the field and 24 percent (5-21) from 3-point range, while hitting 11-18 (61 percent) from the free throw line.

- TCU shot 51 percent (29-57) from the field and 46 percent (7-15) from 3-point range, connecting on 14-20 (70 percent) from the free throw line.

- TCU led 40-34 in points in the paint and 18-13 in points off turnovers. ORU's bench out-scored TCU's bench 19-10.

- Despite getting out-rebounded 42-33, ORU held a 14-8 advantage in second chance points, and led 13-11 in fast break points.

News and Notes
- ORU matched its season highs in free throws made (11) and steals (seven).

- Kearns had a season high 15 points on Sunday, while Aidan Saunders matched his season high with four assists, doing so without a turnover. Saunders and Malone combined for nine assists and two turnovers in the game.

- TCU, ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll, was the first ranked opponent ORU has faced since coming up a point shy in a 66-65 loss at No. 10 Creighton in 2016.

- TCU built an early 25-8 lead, before the Golden Eagles clawed back in and cut it to as few as seven points late in the first half.

- Chris Miller saw his first action of the season, coming back from an injury that sidelined the junior for the first two games.

Up Next
The Golden Eagles will host California Baptist, Tuesday night at the Mabee Center, as part of The Summit League / WAC Challenge that was started this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.  

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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