Second Half Surge Lifts ORU Past North Dakota State, Gives Sutton Career Victories Record
Sutton surpassed former head coach Ken Trickey (1969-74, 87-93), who posted a 214-116 record in 11 seasons over two different stints. Sutton is now 215-153 in his 12th season with the Golden Eagles.
The Golden Eagles (11-14 overall, 8-5 Summit) earned the victory thanks in part to stifling defensive effort in the second half. After trailing 44-34 at halftime, the Golden Eagles found themselves down 52-38 with 16:43 remaining before turning up the heat.
A three-point play by Dominique Morrison (Kansas City, Mo.) sparked a 9-0 run which pulled ORU to within 52-47 after a Warren Niles (Cincinnati, Ohio) three-pointer with 14:43 left.
Back-to-back layups by Niles and Morrison knotted the game at 57-57 with 11:43 left, and the Golden Eagles took the lead for good moments later when a pair of Steven Roundtree (Jacksonville, Fla.) free throws made it 59-57.
North Dakota State (12-11, 6-7) did tie the game at 63-63 with 7:27 to play, but a pair of free throws by Roderick Pearson (Kansas City, Mo.) and another Niles three-pointer made it 68-63 with 6:34 left. After a dunk by NDSU’s Eric Carlson pulled the Bison to within 68-65, Morrison and Roundtree converted consecutive layups for a 72-65 advantage with 3:40 to go.
A free throw by Damen Bell-Holter (Hydaburg, Alaska) gave ORU its largest lead at 79-68 with 48 seconds to play.
After dismal performance on both ends of the court in the first half, the Golden Eagles took over in the final 20 minutes. ORU shot 55 percent in the second half while limiting NDSU to 31 percent shooting, and the Golden Eagles were plus-18 in rebounding after halftime, leading to a 40-28 rebounding edge for the game.
Bell-Holter, Niles and Pearson each scored 18 points to lead the Golden Eagles. Bell-Holter grabbed nine rebounds, falling one board shy of his fourth straight double-double. Pearson added six assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Morrison chipped in with 14 points.
North Dakota State’s Michael Tveidt led all scorers with 19 points, but scored just five points in the second half on 2-of-6 shooting.
The Golden Eagles next visit UMKC, 7 p.m., Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.