Weber State Spoils ORU Home Finale, 70-66
TULSA, Okla.-Hot shooting down the stretch by Weber State proved the difference as the Wildcats spoiled the home finale for Oral Roberts and seniors Damen Bell-Holter and Warren Niles, both of whom were honored following the contest.
Weber State (20-5) shot nearly 70 percent in the second half, including a 7-11 mark from 3-point range as they topped ORU (17-11) on Saturday night.
Despite a disappointing feeling on senior night, Bell-Holter and Niles will both be remembered fondly, having written their names all over the career record books, ranking in the top-10 in categories such as points, rebounds, 3-pointers and blocks, among others.
The solid shooting performance by the Golden Eagles was topped by the nation's most efficient offense as the Wildcats hit 68 percent (15-22). Weber State was led by 20 points from Kyle Tresnak while Scott Bamforth added 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Jordan Richardson added another four treys and 12 points, while Frank Otis put in 11 points, nine of which came in the first half.
"That was a tough loss," said Coach Scott Sutton. "I hate it for Damen and Warren, losing on senior night, but we got beat by a very good basketball team. They are a team that executes as well as any team that we have faced in quite some time. They are a veteran team, they are a well-coached team, they've got guys who can shoot the ball, and they've got players inside who can score. We just had too many breakdowns in the second half. Every time they got a clean look they made it. I thought we did a lot of good things, we just got beat by a really good team."
The ORU offense didn't come from one person early as the first four baskets came from four different people. Weber State on the other hand got nine of its first 19 points from Otis.
The Wildcats opened up an early 9-4 lead, but ORU came right back and the battle was on in a first half that featured six ties and seven lead changes.
After three Niles free throws, ORU opened up its largest lead of the half at seven thanks to a Roundtree layup with less than a minute and held the 36-29 lead at the break. ORU out-scored the Wildcats 10-4 over the last 3:23 of the half.
Weber State opened the second half with four-straight points and out-scored ORU by a count of 13-6 to close the gap and tie the game at 42-42 with just under 15 minutes to play.
The onslaught would continue with back-to-back 3-pointers by Richardson to make it a 19-6 advantage in the half and a 48-42 lead on the scoreboard. Finally Korey Billbury stopped the 11-0 Wildcat run with a layup, and sparked a 9-0 run by ORU as they took the lead back at 51-48 after an alley-oop to Roundtree.
After a 5-12 start behind the arc, the Wildcats hit their next four from long range, helping them turn a 3-point ORU lead into a nine-point advantage at 64-55.
ORU would get back to within five on a couple of occasions down the stretch, but Weber State was able to hold off the late Golden Eagle charge.
ORU will finish the season off on the road, playing three straight Southland Conference games away from the Mabee Center. The road swing begins on Thursday as the Golden Eagles make the trip to Lake Charles, La., to face McNeese State at 7:30 p.m.