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Huge First Half Guides ORU Past UCA

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TULSA -

A 53-point first half out-burst gave the Oral Roberts men's basketball team an early lead and the Golden Eagles topped Central Arkansas 93-80 on Saturday night at the Mabee Center.

ORU (8-8, 2-1 SLC) trailed for less than minute in the entire game and opened up as much as a 26-point lead in the victory. UCA (4-10, 1-2 SLC) hit six second-half 3-pointers to make it close but never got closer than 10 points.

The Golden Eagles had a pair of 20-point scorers in Shawn Glover (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Bobby Word (20 points). Glover recorded a double-double for just the second time in his career, and it was the first time since topping Georgia Southern on November 26 in which ORU has had two players score at least 20 in a game. Korey Billbury added 16 points and D.J. Jackson added 12 for ORU.

As a team, the Golden Eagles shot 49 percent for the game and set season marks in free throws made (30) and attempted (39). ORU also held a 34-26 advantage in the paint, including 18 second-chance points thanks to 16 offensive rebounds. Overall, ORU held a 50-29 rebounding edge, and the +21 marks the widest margin this season and the largest since out-rebounding UMKC by 24 (41-17) on December 28, 2011.

LaQuentin Miles led all scorers with 29 points, and with a 6-for-7 mark from 3-point range, DeShone McClure added 25 as the duo accounted for 54 of the team's 80 points. UCA shot 38 percent for the game and hit 22 of their 28 free throw attempts.

With both teams shooting 50 percent early, it was the Bears with a 10-9 lead until ORU went on a 10-0 run over the next 2:05. Glover had six of the team's 10 points during that stretch. Miles ended the run with a 3-point play, but ORU answered right back with another 10-straight points. Over the course of the entire 20-3 run, ORU got points from six different players.

ORU was in control the remainder of the first half, getting 10 points from Glover and 13 from Word, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 53-32 at the break. It was the most points in a half this season for the Golden Eagles.

Word started right back where he left off and hit the opening 3-pointer of the second half, and Brandon Conley followed it up with a layup to give ORU its largest lead of the game, 26, at 58-32.

The Bears would not go away though, and put together a 15-3 run over a 3:47 span to cut it to a 63-49 ORU lead with 14 minutes to go.

After ORU got it back to a 19-point lead, McClure hit three consecutive 3-pointers for UCA, and the Bears got within 11, 75-64, midway through the second half. UCA continued to put pressure on ORU and a three-point play from Miles got it down to a 10-point game with just over four minutes to play.

ORU found another answer as Glover jump started an 8-0 ORU run late in the game to make it 87-69 and the Golden Eagles' lead was not in danger the rest of the way.

The Golden Eagles will be back at home on Jan. 23 as ORU hosts defending Southland Conference regular season champion Stephen F. Austin at 7:30 p.m.

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