Billbury's Double-Double Pushes ORU Past Lamar, 68-50
BEAUMONT, Texas-Korey Billbury had a career night with his first double-double in an ORU uniform as the freshman paced Oral Roberts in a 68-50 road victory over Lamar, Saturday night at the Montagne Center.
ORU moved to 18-12 (13-4 Southland) with the victory while Lamar fell to 3-26 (1-16 Southland) with the senior-night defeat.
Damen Bell-Holter had his eighth consecutive double-double in Southland play with 10 points and 13 rebounds but was overshadowed by the career high in points (17) and rebounds (13) from Billbury. Shawn Glover led all scorers with 19 points while Warren Niles chipped in 17.
"Korey was great. He was aggressive, he was confident, it was great to see him step up with confidence and hit a couple of threes in the second half. He has some intangibles that we've talked about and we need him to be more consistent, but he does a lot of great things; he plays hard, he plays with energy and plays with passion and those things are hard to teach," said Coach Scott Sutton. "Offensively I thought we did a decent job but we still missed some shots and we didn't convert from the free throw line, but it was better. Our guys did some good things tonight."
The Golden Eagles shot 43.6 percent (24-55) from the field and hit five of eight attempts from three after hitting just one of eight attempts in the first half.
Lamar was led by Donley Minor's 15 points and Stan Brown's 13 points and nine rebounds as the cardinals shot 36 percent (20-55) for the game, well short of the 50 percent they poured in during the first meeting.
ORU jumped out to a 6-0 lead and led by as many as eight (12-4) in the early going after four-straight points from Niles. Lamar would immediately close the gap with a 7-0 run of its own to make it a one point game at 12-11.
The Golden Eagles would answer back with a 7-0 run of their own, with baskets by Brandon Conley and Glover sandwiching a 3-point play from Billbury as he dominated the first half of play with 10 points and a career high nine rebounds in the first half alone. He finished his first-half run with a length of the court drive and layup to end the half by putting ORU up 30-21.
Back-to-back baskets by Glover in the second half made it a 12-point lead again at 35-23 but the Cardinals started to heat up from beyond the arc and were within six on a couple of occasions midway through the second half but could never cut any further into the ORU lead.
Despite an abnormally weak night at the free throw line, ORU converted five of six shots from the charity stripe to make it 51-38. The Golden Eagles would go on to make it a 14-1 run and a 58-39 ballgame, with 4:33 remaining.
After a few scares early, the Cardinals would never threaten again and ORU won it going away.
The Golden Eagles will have a week to prepare for the regular-season finale as they travel to Conway, Ark., to face Central Arkansas on Saturday, March 9 at 4 p.m.