Score: Missouri 80 – Oral Roberts 64
Record: MU (6-3) – ORU (3-9)
Location: Columbia, Mo. (Mizzou Arena)
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri offense caught fire from long range in the second half, and the Tigers were able to pull away from Oral Roberts and win 80-64 on Friday night at Mizzou Arena.
ORU held Mizzou to 38 percent (5-13) from 3-point range in the first half, but the Tigers hit seven of their first 12 3-point attempts in the second half, including a stretch of four in a row, to separate from ORU. The run came after the Golden Eagles made it a two point game, 40-38, with 14:12 left in the game.
Emmanuel Nzekwesi was dominant for ORU offensively and led the way with 17 points to go with his six rebounds. It was Emir Ahmedic who did the bulk of the damage on the boards for ORU, grabbing a career high 10 rebounds, adding seven points, five of which came from the free throw line. Kaelen Malone had five assists, while DeShang Weaver (14) and Aidan Saunders (12) each reached double figures in scoring.
Missouri utilized a balanced attack with six players all scoring double figures. Mark Smith had 14 to lead the way, while Jeremiah Tilmon had 12 points and a team-best six rebounds.
ORU out-rebounded Mizzou 38-34, but the Tigers had an 18-5 advantage in points off turnovers after ORU committed 13 turnovers.
Quote of the Game
"Emir (Ahmedic) does a great job and his care factor is through the roof. Chris (Miller) was struggling to score and Kerwin (Smith) got in some foul trouble and we wanted to save him. Emir came in and made free throws, was competitive and did a great job of keeping the basketball alive."
A two-point game with 14:12 to play, Missouri went on a 10-0 run and extended it to a 25-5 run to break the game open midway through the second half.
Oral Roberts: Nzekwesi led ORU with 17 points while Ahmedic grabbed 10 rebounds and Malone dished out five helpers.
Missouri: Smith had 14 points while Tilmon led the way with six rebounds. Xavier Pinson had four of the Tigers' 10 assists.
Inside the Box Score
- ORU shot 39 percent (25-63) from the field and 33 percent (7-21) from 3-point range, while hitting just 7-13 from the free throw line.
- MU shot 48 percent (26-54) from the field, 46 percent (12-26) from 3-point range and 16-24 from the free throw line.
- ORU held a 38-34 rebounding advantage, including 14 offensive boards, but out-scored Mizzou by just a point (12-11) in second chance points.
News and Notes
- Ahmedic matched his career highs in both points (seven) and rebounds (seven) in the first half alone.
- After shooting better than 40 percent in eight straight games, including a season high 52 percent last time out, ORU was held to just 39.7 percent on Friday even though the Golden Eagles hit their final seven shots of the game.
- ORU out-rebounded its opponent for the first time in three games, but the sixth time this season.
- Nzekwesi has now scored more than 15 points in five straight games, averaging 18.2 points per game during that time.
- Malone has had five or more assists in three straight games, making it six times this season.
The Golden Eagles will have a week off for final exams before returning to the road to face Richmond December 15.
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).