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Men's Basketball Hosts IUPUI on Thursday

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 02/23/2011
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Tonight’s Game
The Golden Eagles battle IUPUI in a showdown for the coveted No. 2 seed in next month’s Summit League Tournament ... neither team will clinch the second seed with just a victory, but an ORU win tonight gives the Golden Eagles a tiebreaker over the Jaguars by virtue of a season series sweep ... IPFW’s weekend results and other Saturday scores will also be factored in ... ORU has won six straight home games in the series, and eight of the last 11 overall ...  ORU is 9-3 all-time vs. IUPUI at Mabee Center.

The Coaches
ORU’s Scott Sutton is in his 12th season as the head coach of the Golden Eagles, and his 16th overall with the program. Sutton is 219-153 (.589) as head coach and become the school’s career victories leader with an 81-73 win over South Dakota State on Feb. 5 in Tulsa. He is the son of legendary coach Eddie Sutton, and the younger brother of former Oklahoma State head coach and current ORU Executive Adviser Sean Sutton. Scott Sutton is a two-time Summit League Coach of the Year (2002, 2008) and earned NABC District 12 co-Coach of the Year in 2005, sharing the award with his father. In 2007, Sutton was a finalist for the Clair Bee Coaching Excellence Award. Since the start of the 2001-02 season, Sutton has five 20-win seasons, four consecutive Summit League regular-season titles (2005-08), and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2006-08).
    IUPUI’s Ron Hunter is 262-217 in his 17th season with the Jaguars.
Sutton Passes Trickey to Become Career Victories Leader
With ORU’s 81-73 win over South Dakota State on Feb. 5, head coach Scott Sutton picked up his school-record 215th coaching victory, surpassing Ken Trickey (1969-74, 87-93) atop the school’s coaching wins list. Sutton is currently The Summit League’s active leader in career wins (219), Summit League victories (131), Summit League games coached (189) and overall career winning percentage (.589).
ORU Career Coaching Records (by victories)
Coach        Years        Record
Scott Sutton    1999-present    219-153 (.589)
Ken Trickey        1969-74, 1987-93    214-116 (.648)
Bill White        19865-69        65-35 (.650)
Jerry Hale        1974-77        61-21 (.744)
Bill Self        1993-97        55-54 (.505)
Ken Hayes        1979-83        50-43 (.538)
Dick Acres        1982-85        47-34 (.580)
Barry Hinson        1997-99        36-23 (.610)
Ted Owens        1985-87        21-35 (.375)
Lake Kelly        1977-79        30-24 (.556)

Pacific Leftovers
ORU stretched its winning streak to a season-best six games, its longest regular-season winning streak since the 2008-09 squad won eight-in-a-row ... the win also put ORU over the .500-mark for the first time this season ... the Golden Eagles blistered the nets in the second half, shooting 82.6 percent (19-23) after halftime ... junior forward Dominique Morrison scored 23 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, going 9-of-10 from the field in the final 20 minutes ...  Morrison has scored 20 or more points 10 times this season ... ORU improved to 3-3 in BracketBuster-related games, but it was the first home win (1-2) for the Golden Eagles ... ORU owned a 33-30 lead at halftime and improved to 12-3 when leading at the break.

Fun With Free Throws
After after appearing to be afraid of the free throw line in the early going this season, the Golden Eagles now embrace trips to the stripe. Over the last 21 games ORU is shooting 75.2 percent at the line following a 12-for-14 effort on Saturday against Pacific.  The recent efforts have finally vaulted ORU’s season free throw percentage above the .700 mark (.708). The Golden Eagles haven’t shot better than 70 percent in a season since the 2006-07 campaign.

Stokes Cleared to Return to Practice, Expected to Play This Weekend
After missing nearly two months with concussion-related symptoms, junior swingman Kyron Stokes was cleared this week to return to practice. Stokes participated in a full workout on Tuesday and is expected to play this weekend after missing the previous 17 games following his third concussion of the season on Dec. 30 against Oakland. Stokes, who also missed eight games before the Oakland contest, is averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.4 minutes. He scored a season-high nine points against Tulsa on Nov. 16.

Eagles Eclipse Three-Point Mark in Win at South Dakota State
In a Jan. 8 win at South Dakota State, the Golden Eagles set a school-record by making 82.4 percent (14-17) of their three-pointers. It was a total team effort, as three players made four or more. Guards Warren Niles (5-5), Roderick Pearson (4-4) and Ken Holdman (4-7) combined to go 13-16, while fellow guard Hunter McClintock converted his only attempt. ORU was 4-of-6 in the first half before a near-perfect 10-11 effort in the second half. The team performance eclipsed the previous mark of .714 (10-14) set again IUPUI on Feb. 22, 2007.

At Home in Mabee Center
ORU has experienced a basketball rebirth over the last eight seasons, and nowhere has that been more evident than in games played at Mabee Center. Since the start of the 2002-03 season, ORU is 90-18 (.833) at home and an amazing 62-9 (.873) in conference play in that time.

ORU in Summit League Play
ORU is 155-66 (.701) in regular season Summit League play all-time in 13 seasons. ORU owns the second-best winning percentage in League history, behind only former member Missouri State’s .767 (79-24) clip. The Golden Eagles have captured five regular-season titles (‘99, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08) and three tournament championships (‘06, ‘07, ‘08). Since the 2004-05 season, ORU is 92-24 (.793) in Summit League regular season play, and 104-27 (.794) when including Summit League Tournament games.

Domo Arigato, Mr. Morrison
Junior forward Dominique Morrison (Domo) is enjoying another fantastic season. A preseason first-team All-Summit selection, Morrison leads the Golden Eagles and ranks second in the Summit League in scoring (19.3) while also ranking among league-leaders in field-goal percentage (.530), free throw percentage (.779) and three-point percentage (.413).  Morrison has scored at least 11 points in 23 of his 24 games, including a career-high 35 points in a win at Western Illinois on Dec. 2. On Dec. 22 he became the 28th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. Against Pacific, he became the 15th player in school history to reach 100 career three-pointers.

Roundtree Giving Opponents the Shaft
Freshman forward Steven Roundtree isn’t “Shaft” but he would gladly risk his neck for his brother man... and his teammates. The newcomer hasn’t wasted any time in having a positive impact on the Golden Eagles, and enters Thursday’s game with IUPUI averaging 11.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field. Roundtree has scored in double figures in 20 of 29 games, owns four double-doubles and leads all Summit League newcomers in scoring while ranking second rebounding. Can you dig it?

For Whom the Bell-Holter Tolls
One of the biggest concerns surrounding the Golden Eagles when the 2010-11 season began was replacing the production of front court standout Kevin Ford.  After a bumpy start, sophomore Damen Bell-Holter has more than filled the void. Through 28 games, Bell-Holter is averaging 13.6 points and ranks among league-leaders in rebounding  (7.7; 3rd), blocked shots per game (1.5; 2nd) and field-goal percentage (.529; 11th).

Morrison Reaches 1,000 Points
Junior forward Dominique Morrison became the 28th player in school history to score 1,000 career points when he sank a free throw in the first half of ORU’s loss to UALR on Dec. 22. With 1,285 career points, Morrison currently ranks 13th in school history in total points.  He is also the 15th player in school history with over 100 career three-point field goals (101).

Craion Out for Season; Will Seek Medical Redshirt for 2010-11 Campaign
Junior forward Michael Craion will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 basketball season and will seek a medical redshirt. Craion, who played in just two games this season, has been dealing with the after-effects of right foot surgery in August. After returning to practice in October, Craion re-aggrevated the injury and missed ORU’s first six games. The 2010 Summit League Newcomer of the Year and preseason first-team all-Summit selection saw limited action at Western Illinois and IUPUI, but once again re-aggrevated the injury during practice the following week. He has been inactive ever since. In two games, Craion averaged 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 17 total minutes.

Freshman Roundtree Gets Opening-Day Nod
Freshman forward Steven Roundtree became just the fourth freshman in head coach Scott Sutton’s 12 years to start a season opener when he joined the starting lineup at Missouri State on Nov. 12. He more than held his own, scoring 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while also grabbing six rebounds in 33 minutes. How did his performance stack up against the others?
Player    Pos.    Opponent    Date    Result    Stats
Luke Spencer-Gardner    G    Nebraska    Nov. 18, 2000    W, 87-83    19 pts, 6 assts, 2 stl, 38 min.
Ken Tutt    G    SC State    Nov. 21, 2003    W, 63-60    24 pts, 6-14 FG, 4-8 3FG, 32 min.
Dominique Morrison    F    Tulsa    Nov. 15, 2008    L, 50-43    9 pts, 3 blks, 2 rebs, 35 min.

Giant Killers
Every season since 2002-03, ORU has pulled off at least one upset of a power conference or Top 25-ranked team, and they’ve done it again this year. On Nov. 27 ORU handed Utah a 78-70 defeat in Salt Lake City, adding to its growing hit list.
Date    Opponent    Score    Notes
11/26/02    Arkansas (H)    76-64    First win over Arkansas since ‘96
11/30/02    Wichita St. (H)    76-71    Part of 6-0 start to season   
12/20/03    Wichita St. (A)    76-73    First game in WSU’s renovated Koch Arena
12/20/04    Georgetown (N)*    81-63    Eagles defeated Hoyas squad with Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert
2/19/05    Missouri St. (A)    86-76    Sutton defeats the man he replaced as ORU head coach
11/23/05    Southern Cal (N)^    68-48    First win over a Pac-10 team in 23 years   
11/15/06    #3 Kansas (A)    78-71    Highest-ranked opponent ever defeated
12/28/06    Seton Hall (N)%    76-74    Second win over Big East team in three years
12/20/07    Oklahoma St. (N)&    74-59    First Sutton vs. Sutton battle goes to little bro
12/22/08    South Florida (N)*    86-63    Third win over Big East foe in five years
11/18/09    Stanford (A)#    83-81    Roderick Pearson’s buzzer beater the difference
12/9/09    Missouri (H)    60-59    ORU rallies from 11 points down to win on Michael Craion’s layup at :0.9
12/23/09    #13 New Mexico (H)    75-66    Michael Craion gets 18-13-7 as Golden Eagles roll Lobos
11/27/10    Utah (A)    78-70    Damen Bell-Holter goes for 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks
*-Rainbow Classic; ^-Great Alaska Shootout; %-BYU Holiday Classic; &-All-College Classic; *-San Juan Shootout; #-Cancun Challenge

Morrison Named Summit League Player of the Week
ORU’s Dominique Morrison was named Summit League Player of the Week for his efforts during the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5.
    Morrison set career-highs for points, field goals and three-pointers in ORU’s league opening win at Western Illinois and helped the Golden Eagles to a 2-0 start in league play with a road victory at IUPUI.
    Against WIU, Morrison scored 35 points, 28 in the second half, made 14-of-18 shots (77.8 percent) and 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) from beyond the arc. Two nights later at IUPUI, he scored 11 second-half points to help rally his team to a sweep of its league road trip. Earlier in the week, Morrison scored 12 points in just 20 minutes of action at Texas Tech.
    Overall, he averaged 19.3 points in 29.7 minutes per game, shot 63.9 percent from the field, 53.8 percent from three-point range, and blocked a shot in each of his team’s three outings.

Former Standout Larry Owens Signs Pair of 10-day Contracts with San Antonio Larry Owens, a standout on a pair of Oral Roberts championship teams, signed a 10-day contract with the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 16, becoming ORU’s first NBA player in over a decade.  He signed a second 10-day contract on Jan. 27.
    Owens was released and returned the D-League on Feb. 5. Owens is ORU’s eighth NBA player, and the first since 8-year veteran Haywoode Workman retired following the 1999-2000 season. Owens appeared in six games for the Spurs and averaged 1.3 points in 5.4 minutes per game.
    A 6-7 forward, Owens had been playing for the NBA Developmental League’s Tulsa 66ers for the past two seasons. In 23 games with the 66ers this season Owens averaged  12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists. In 50 games last season Owens averaged 15.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, helping lead Tulsa to the D-League finals.
    Owens lettered two seasons at ORU (2004-06), helping the Golden Eagles to a pair of Mid-Continent Conference regular-season titles, and the Mid-Con tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth in 2006.
    He was named Mid-Con Defensive player of the year and 1st-team All-Mid-Con as a senior when he averaged 12.5 points and 7.9 rebounds in starting all 33 games. In 66 career ORU games, Owens averaged 10.9 points and 7.7 rebounds.

Sean Sutton Joins ORU Staff
Former Oklahoma State men’s basketball head coach Sean Sutton has been added to the coaching staff at ORU. President Dr. Mark Rutland and men’s basketball head coach Scott Sutton made the announcement at an Oct. 7 press conference on the Mabee Center arena floor.
    Sean Sutton will serve as ORU’s Executive Adviser to the basketball staff. In his new role Sutton will be allowed to interact with coaches during games and practices but will not be permitted to provide direct instruction to players. He is serving in an unpaid capacity.
    Sean Sutton coached Oklahoma State from 2006-08 and posted a 39-29 record in his two seasons in Stillwater. He previously spent 13 seasons as an assistant to his father Eddie, who coached the Cowboys for 16 seasons. Sean Sutton also served as an assistant coach at Mississippi during the 1992-93 campaign.
    With a combined 1,049 wins the Sutton’s are the most successful father-son basketball coaching combination in NCAA history.
    Sean Sutton is a 1992 graduate of Oklahoma State where he helped guide the Cowboys to the Sweet 16 in 1991 and 1992. He played two seasons (1987-89) at Kentucky where he was also coached by his father.
    As a player and coach, Sean Sutton has been a part of 13 NCAA Tournaments, four NITs and two Final Fours.
Hankins Named Summit’s Top Assistant
Longtime ORU assistant coach Tom Hankins has been named as the top assistant in the Summit League by noted basketball reporter/blogger Jeff Goodman, who conducted voting among league head coaches. Hankins is beginning his 14th season at ORU. His recruiting efforts have led to ORU signing such players as current stars Michael Craion and Dominique Morrison.

ORU Picked Second in Summit League Preseason Poll
ORU was picked second in the annual Summit League preseason poll of head coaches, media members and Sports Information Directors. Defending regular-season and tournament champ Oakland received 29 of 34 first-place votes.
    The Golden Eagles received three first-place votes and finished second in the poll followed by IUPUI, who received the remaining two first-place votes, in third. North Dakota State held down fourth, South Dakota State came in fifth, IPFW sixth and Western Illinois seventh. UMKC edged Southern Utah for the final spot among the top eight while Centenary rounded out the poll in tenth.

Craion, Morrison Named Preseason All-Summit League
Forwards Michael Craion and Dominique Morrison were named to the Summit League’s preseason second team. Craion, the 2010 Summit League Newcomer of the Year and a second-team all-league pick a year ago, averaged 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds as a junior. Morrison was a first-team all-league pick as a sophomore after averaging a team-best 15.3 points and 5.1 rebounds.

Kansas City Kings
The 2010-11 Golden Eagles roster contains a rarity for any program: three players from the same out-of-state city. Seniors Michael Craion (Ruskin HS) and Roderick Pearson (Raytown South HS), and junior Dominique Morrison (Raytown HS) all live in Kansas City, Mo. The last time ORU had three or more players on the roster from the same out-of-state city was in 1987-88 when four players hailed from Charlotte, N.C.: Rodney Davis (Myers Park HS), Anthony Houston (Harding HS), Jules Springs (West HS) and Haywoode Workman (Myers Park HS).

Fox College Sports, KGEB to Broadcast All Home Games
For the third straight year Fox College Sports, along with Golden Eagle Broadcasting, will televise nearly every ORU home game. A total of 12 games will be shown on the national sports network, including all nine Summit League contests.
    Fox College Sports will televise all games live nationally on cable and satellite systems across the country. ORU will again partner with Golden Eagle Broadcasting and Tulsa affiliate KGEB to televise all home games locally on a tape-delayed basis at 10:30 p.m. each game night. Golden Eagle Broadcasting will televise all games live through DirecTV channel 363. University Media Productions will handle production duties for all broadcasts.
    KOTV sports anchor Chad McKee will handle the majority of play-by-play duties, with Cox Communications sports personality Mike Wolfe serving as fill-in. Former Golden Eagle standout Mickey Michalec and veteran analyst Bryndon Manzer return for their third seasons as color commentators.
ORU Chosen for 2011 BracketBusters
For the sixth time in seven years, ORU has been selected to participate in the ESPN BracketBusters. The ninth annual BracketBusters event, a three-day men’s college basketball extravaganza pitting potential NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other Feb. 18-20, will feature 11 nationally televised games – on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU -- selected from a pool of 114 teams. ORU is 2-3 in Bracket Busters-related games. The Golden Eagles hosted nationally televised games against Utah State (2007) and Creighton (2008). Match ups will be announced on Jan. 31.

ORU Basketball on the Radio
All ORU games can be heard in northeastern Oklahoma on “The Sports Animal”, 97.1 FM and 1550 AM. Geoff Haxton begins his fourth full season as the play-by-play voice of the Golden Eagles. Fans can also listen on-line at www.orugoldeneagles.com. The pregame show begins 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Join ORU coaches and athletes every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. for the ORU Coaches Hour, broadcast live from Rib Crib at 81st & Yale and carried on FM 97.1 “The Sports Animal”. Tulsa radio personality Geoff Haxton hosts the one-hour call-in show. Men’s head coach Scott Sutton and women’s head coach Jerry Finkbeiner are regular guests.

About ORU
Founded in 1963 by evangelist Oral Roberts, ORU is a 400-acre campus located in South Tulsa. ORU boasts a total enrollment of over 5,000 students from all 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries. Some famous ORU alums include entertainer Kathy Lee Gifford, Pulitzer-prize nominated author Clifton Taulbert and two-time NCAA track & field national champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Andretti Bain.  “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening briefly attended ORU, and subsequently, many of the characters on the show are modeled after former ORU students and staff members. In fact, if you look closely over Ned Flanders’ fireplace, his college diploma reads “Oral Roberts University”.

About The Summit League
Now in its 29th year as an NCAA Division I athletics conference, The Summit League is in its fourth year under that name. In May 2007, the Presidents Council embraced the Summit Plan, a strategic plan that places a renewed emphasis on improving the academic and athletic performances of all its student-athletes. Included in the plan was the creation of a new image of the conference and the unveiling of a new name. The Summit League is the third name the conference has held as an NCAA sanctioned league.
    The Summit League’s 10 member schools are Centenary College of Louisiana, IPFW, IUPUI, UMKC, North Dakota State, Oakland, ORU, South Dakota State, Southern Utah and Western Illinois. The member schools pride themselves on providing quality athletic, academic and social experiences for their student-athletes.
    The Summit League sponsors 19 sports, which include: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s & women’s cross country, men’s & women’s golf, men’s & women’s soccer, softball, men’s & women’s swimming & diving, men’s & women’s indoor & outdoor track & field, men’s and women’s tennis and volleyball. The League offices are in suburban Chicago.
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