ORU Runs Past Lamar 91-74
TULSA, Okla.-A 15-0 run for Oral Roberts (11-8, 6-1 Southland) in the second half was enough to put away Lamar (2-17, 0-7 Southland) on Thursday night as the Golden Eagles overwhelmed the Cardinals 91-74 at the Mabee Center.
The 91 points scored by ORU was the most this season and the most since dropping 97 on against South Dakota on January 26 of last season.
ORU was led by a trio of scorers, all of which was spurred by Korey Billbury's 10 assists. Billbury is the first to have 10 assists since Roderick Pearson had 12 at South Dakota (12/30/11). Those assists aided Warren Niles, who tied a season high, and Shawn Glover, who set a new season best with 33 and 24 points, respectively.
Glover also had a game-high nine rebounds. Damen Bell-Holter had 15 points and eight rebounds.
ORU turned the ball over just four times, tying the school record for the fewest in a game. It is the fourth time in school history to hit that mark and the first time since 1990.
Lamar scored 74 points for the second-straight game, led by Keilan Blanks' 25 points a season-high mark for any Cardinal player. Stan Brown added 18 and Donnell Minton dropped in 17 as the trio accounted for 60 of the team's 74 points.
"I'm disappointed in our guys. I give a lot of credit to Pat (Knight) and their team, they exposed some weaknesses of ours and I thought their freshman guards were outstanding," said Coach Scott Sutton. "You could see throughout the game their confidence growing and growing and thankfully on the offensive end it's been the best game in terms of not turning the ball over and then Niles and Glover were obviously really good tonight. I thought our defense had gotten better the past week, especially on the road and tonight we reverted back to some things."
ORU shot 47 percent (35-74) for the game, despite a 56 percent (19-34) effort in the second half and had a 37-33 advantage in rebounds. Points off turnovers proved to be a key in the game as ORU led the category 13-0, turning Lamar over 13 times with eight steals.
After Lamar scored the game's opening points, ORU got baskets from four different players as they scored the next 12 to make it a 12-2 game just over four minutes into the game.
Try as they might to pull away further, ORU couldn't get more than 12 point lead on the Cardinals in the first half, grabbing that on a Glover dunk off a nice pass from Niles.
In fact, it was Lamar that would make a run at the end of the first half, scoring six straight, followed by back-to-back baskets after a Niles jumper. In all, the 10-2 run made it a four-point game at 32-28. Up five with less than 10 seconds to go, Niles hit a three to close the half to give ORU an eight-point advantage.
Still up eight early in the second half, Glover traded baskets with Lamar, scoring eight-straight points for ORU. A 3-pointer by Blanks made it 49-44. The two teams would continue to trade baskets and an Amos Wilson jumper cut the lead to 56-50. It was the closest the Cardinals would be the rest of the way as ORU scored the next 15 points, including 12-straight by Niles to make it a 71-50 game with 10:40 to play.
Lamar had one last push in them and made it a 12 point game with 5:05 to play, but would not get any close than that down the stretch.
ORU will remain at home to face McNeese State at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Mabee Center as the Golden Eagles honor the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013 at halftime.