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ORU Men Win Big On Homecoming

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For the second game in a row, the Oral Roberts men's basketball team led the entire way, beating Southeastern Louisiana 71-54 in front of a Homecoming crowd of 6,035 on Saturday night at the Mabee Center.

ORU (12-12, 6-5 SLC) was led by Korey Billbury and Shawn Glover, who each scored 21 points. Glover also had a team high 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the year. The duo combined to hit all 19 of their free throw attempts on the night. Bobby Word dumped in 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

While ORU shot just 38 percent (20-52) for the game, the Golden Eagles hit 80 percent (25-31) from the free throw line to help the offense. ORU also had a season-low four turnovers to aid the cause, the fewest since turning it over four times last year against Lamar on January 24.

"These past two games were huge as far as confidence for our guys," said Coach Scott Sutton. "To win like we did, they should feel good about themselves going into next week."

SLU (9-13, 4-7 SLC) got 13 points from Dre Evans and 12 from Onochi Ochie. The Lions hit 33 percent (20-60) from the field and blocked nine ORU shots, including four by Antonnio Benton.

It was a defensive battle for the first half, with ORU holding SLU without a field goal for the first 7:55 of the game as the Lions started 0-7 from the field. ORU's shots weren't falling either, though, and the Golden Eagles could open just a 9-0 lead during that time.

As ORU continued to be aggressive, it paid off and six straight free throws helped ORU open up a 13-point lead, 17-4 with 7:54 to play in the half.

With seven points in the final 7:12 of the half, Ochie got the Lions going as well, but only once did the lead dip below 10 the rest of the first half.

Glover gave the Golden Eagles their largest lead of the half at 17 as he knocked down a 3-pointer with 17 seconds to go in the first half. Julian Chiera answered with a long jumper as time expired to make it a 33-18 ORU lead at halftime.

The 18 points given up by ORU in the first half were the fewest since December 1, 2012, when ORU held Missouri State to just 15.

After a pair of Glover free throws to start the second half, SLU tried to make a run, scoring the next five points, but ORU answered with a 10-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Jabbar Singleton, and a block by Word that led to a 3-point play by Billbury. The run gave ORU a 22-point lead, 45-23, the largest of the game.

Just as ORU looked to be on the way to run away with things, SLU put together another mini-spurt, scoring the game's next seven points to cut it back to a 15-point game, 45-30.

In all, the Lions out-scored ORU 17-4 over the next five minutes of action to cut the 22-point lead down to nine at 49-40. It was the closest SLU had been since it was 17-8 with 6:50 to play in the first half.

ORU finally stopped the run with five straight points, including another Word three-ball that got a friendly bounce to make it 54-40 with just over six minutes to play.

With the Golden Eagles up 14 with less than four minutes to go, the Lions elected to foul ORU, and the Golden Eagles hit six of eight free throws in the final two minutes to walk out with the 71-54 homecoming victory.

The Golden Eagles head back on the road for the next three Southland Conference games, beginning on February 13 as ORU heads to Houston Baptist.

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