ANCHORAGE, Alaska-Oral Roberts struggled from the field all game, shooting just 33 percent (21-62), and fell into the consolation bracket with a 72-58 loss to Charlotte. The 49ers advanced to the championship game and will face Northeastern, while the Golden Eagles will face Belmont in the third-place game.
The 33 percent mark from the field is the lowest for ORU since connecting on just 32 percent (16-50) against UALR on December 22, 2010. The Golden Eagles fall to 3-2 on the season, while Charlotte improves to 5-0.
Shawn Glover led ORU with 18 points, while Warren Niles had 15 points and Steven Roundtree added 12. Damen Bell-Holter had seven points but a game-high 13 rebounds before fouling out with six minutes to go in the game.
Charlotte was sparked by its bench, including DeMario Mayfield who scored 17 points-14 of which came from the free throw line-and Chris Braswell who scored 11 points.
Charlotte connected on 20 of 28 free throws, with Mayfield getting single-handedly getting to the free throw line as much as the entire ORU team (16). The Golden Eagles converted 12 of those trips, and it was the second game this season (UTEP) in which the opposition made more trips to the line than ORU.
"The bottom line is we just didn't play very tough, we didn't have much fight in us," said Coach Scott Sutton. "We need to develop some toughness. We said the same things after the UTEP game and I thought we kind of reverted back tonight. I thought we had made great strides, but especially in the first half we didn't play very smart and we didn't play very tough."
The first half of basketball was one that ORU would like to forget as they shot just 25 percent (8-31) from the field and hit just one of six 3-point attempts. Midway through the half a 49er 3-pointer, one of just two they hit in the half, made it a 10-point game (17-7), and gave Charlotte its largest lead of the first half.
ORU came right back and out-scored Charlotte 15-8 over the next nine minutes to cut it to a 25-22 ballgame with just under two minutes to play. Charlotte got to the line seven times over the last two minutes and pushed the lead back to nine with a 7-1 run to make it 32-23 at the break.
Turnovers continued to plague ORU as the Golden Eagles committed their 12th with 15 minutes to go in the game, leading to easy baskets on the other end, and every time ORU would cut into the lead and get it to four or five, Charlotte found a way to bounce it back up to double-digits. ORU turned it over a total of 17 times in the game for the second game in a row.
The 49ers would continue to methodically distance themselves from ORU and earned a berth in the championship game against Northeastern.
The Golden Eagles will face off against Belmont in the third-place game at 6 p.m. (AST), 9 p.m. central time.