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ORU Comeback Falls Short in 86-80 Loss to South Dakota State

ORU Comeback Falls Short in 86-80 Loss to South Dakota State

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

The Basics
Score: South Dakota State 86 – Oral Roberts 80
Record: SDSU (18-6, 8-1) – ORU (8-16, 4-5)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (Mabee Center)

TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team cut a 20-point lead down to five with just under a minute to play, but Summit League leading South Dakota State held off the charge and the Jackrabbits took an 86-80 win Thursday evening at the Mabee Center.

A total of nine players scored in double figures in the game, with Kevin Obanor leading the charge for the Golden Eagles with 17 points. Sam Kearns added 16 and a game-high six assists, while Emmanuel Nzekwesi added 14 points and nine rebounds in his return to the court after an injury. DeShang Weaver rounded out the ORU double-digit scorers with 11 points.

Mike Daum led all scorers with 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds as all five starters scored in double figures for the Jackrabbits. David Jenkins added 18 points and Skyler Flatten dropped in 14.

ORU out-rebounded SDSU 40-36, including 14 offensive boards that turned into 21 second chance points. SDSU made their mark at the free throw line, making 16-19 free throws, while ORU made just 4-8 from the line.

Quote of the Game
"They made plays late, but for us it comes down to the free throw line. We have to guard without fouling because they made 16-of-19 and we only got up eight free throws and that was the difference in the game." – Head Coach Paul Mills

Turning Point
After a 17-6 run, capped by a Weaver 3-pointer, made it a five point game with 57 seconds to play, Flatten canned a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock to push the lead back out to eight with less than 30 seconds to go.

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Obanor led the scoring with 17 points while Nzekwesi grabbed nine rebounds. Kearns dished out six assists and Obanor and Weaver each had two blocks.
South Dakota State: Daum scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead SDSU in both categories. Tevin King had three of the seven steals for the Jackrabbits.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 48 percent in the second half and finished the game 33-75 (44 percent) from the field, 10-31 (32 percent) from 3-point range and 4-8 (50 percent) from the free throw line.

- SDSU shot 30-59 (51 percent) from the field, 10-23 (43 percent) from 3-point range and 16-19 (84 percent) from the free throw line.

- ORU held a 40-36 rebounding advantage and out-scored the Jackrabbits 21-8 in second chance points.

News and Notes
- ORU has out-rebounded its opponent in eight of the nine Summit League games, and 15 times this season.

- Kearns set a new season high with 16 points, topping his 15 point effort at TCU. 

- Kerwin Smith and Lācis each set new season highs with three assists apiece. 

- ORU's 18 assists set a new season high for the Golden Eagles.

- ORU only got to the free throw line eight times, tying the second fewest of the season. The Golden Eagles only took seven free throw attempts in the first meeting against the Jackrabbits.  

- Even with Nzekwesi, who is ORU's leading scorer this season, returning to the lineup, Obanor led ORU in scoring for the fourth straight game. It was Obanor's 12th double-digit scoring output of the season.

- The Golden Eagles made 10 3-pointers in the game, including seven in the second half, the eighth time this season with at least 10 triples.

Up Next
ORU hosts Purdue Fort Wayne Saturday at 7 p.m. for Hall of Fame night at the Mabee Center. Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez (baseball), Kevi Luper (women's basketball), Buddy Slemp (baseball) and Jack Whitt (track & field) will be inducted into the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame and honored at halftime of the game.    

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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