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Defense Keys ORU to 59-52 Road Win at Richmond

Defense Keys ORU to 59-52 Road Win at Richmond

Box Score (PDF) | Photos  |  Season Stats  |  2018-19 Schedule  |  Tickets

The Basics
Score: Oral Roberts 59 – Richmond 52
Record: ORU (4-9) – Richmond (4-6)
Location: Robins Center (Richmond, Va.)

RICHMOND, Va. – In a defensive battle that went back-and-forth the majority of the second half, the Oral Roberts men's basketball team prevailed with a 59-52 road victory at Richmond, Saturday afternoon at the Robins Center.

ORU's active defense was stellar all game, holding the Spiders to 29 percent from the field and just 52 points, the lowest total for an ORU opponent this year.

Aidan Saunders provided an offensive spark off the bench with 15 points, while Emmanuel Nzekwesi grabbed a game high 12 rebounds to help ORU to a 39-37 rebounding edge.

Nathan Cayo led Richmond with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Jacob Gilyard had seven of the Spiders' 14 steals.

Quote of the Game
"We worked the past few days on the zone and I thought the guys did a good job. Our length really helps. Those young kids are learning and will be OK. DeShang made some big shots late and to his credit came forward in the last four or five minutes." – Coach Paul Mills

Turning Point
Down one with 2:27 to play, ORU scored the next six points, including two each from Kevin Obanor, DeShang Weaver and Kaelen Malone, to take a five point lead with 52 seconds remaining.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Saunders led ORU with 15 points, the only double-digit scorer, while Nzekwesi grabbed 12 boards to lead all rebounders.
Richmond: Nathan Cayo had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Richmond in both categories.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 52 percent (25-48) from the field and 31 percent (6-19) from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles went 3-8 from the free throw line.

- Richmond shot 29 percent (20-67) from the field and 13 percent (4-30) from 3-point range, while connecting on 8-14 from the free throw line.

- ORU out-scored Richmond 34-26 in the paint and 8-5 on fast breaks. ORU's bench out-scored Richmond 32-3.

News and Notes
- ORU's defense held Richmond to just 52 points, the lowest output by an opponent this season and the first time holding a team under 60 this year. It was also the lowest total for the Spiders this year, topping the 58 points scored against Longwood.

- Richmond's leading scorer, Grant Golden, who is averaging nearly 20 points per game, was held to just 10 points, his lowest total of the season.

- ORU shot better than 50 percent for the third time this season and the 52 percent from the field was the highest against a Division I team, topping the 52.7 percent against FGCU and just behind the 58 percent against Ecclesia.

- Saturday marked the first time this season in which ORU has come from behind in the final three minutes of a game to win. ORU held the lead at the three minute mark in each of the other three wins.

- ORU earned its first road victory of the season. The Golden Eagles have two wins at home and have gone 1-1 on a neutral court.

- Defense was the name of the game in the first half as ORU opened up a 29-18 lead with 7:35 to play. Richmond scored just five points in the final seven minutes, while ORU only had a bucket from Kerwin Smith during that time frame.

Up Next
ORU will stay on the road for its third straight road game as the Golden Eagle travel to Wichita State Wednesday, December 19 at 7 p.m. before returning home to face Tulsa in the Mayor's Cup game December 22.  

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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