ORU Men's Basketball Get 3-Point Win Over New Mexico State - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

ORU Men's Basketball Get 3-Point Win Over New Mexico State

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The ORU men's basketball team returned to the court after 12 days, to take on New Mexico State for the first time in program history.

ORU's leading scorer Obi Emegano got the Golden Eagles on the board first with a jumper. After that, Denell Henderson hit a layup, giving Oral Roberts a 4-0 lead in the opening minutes. New Mexico State gained its first lead of the game at the 16:59 mark. With 13:32 left in the half, ORU led the Aggies 9-8. Emegano had seven of his team's 17 points with 11 minutes to go in the first.

The Golden Eagles led by two, (19-17), in the final seven minutes of the half. At this point, the Aggies had seven turnovers, while the Golden Eagles had eight.

With just under seven minutes, New Mexico State tied the game up for the 6th time of the night. Within the final five minutes, the game had already featured six ties and four lead changes. ORU averages 12 turnovers a game, and were only three short of that late in the first. Although the Golden Eagles were struggling with turnovers, they shot great from the line, hitting 9-9.

With just a few minutes before the half, ORU was shooting 42 percent from the field. ORU managed to keep the lead, but hadn't scored in three minutes. Emegano scored again, for his 11th point of the game, advancing ORU to a 28-27 lead. New Mexico State stepped up, and went on an offensive run to catch up with the Golden Eagles.

Going into halftime, the Aggies led 36-32.

ORU shot 45 percent from the field. Emegano and Henderson combined for 21 of the 32 ORU baskets. The Golden Eagles' were 0-4 from behind the arc, and 10-11 from the free throw line. They had 13 rebounds, six steals, three blocks, two assists, and 11 turnovers.

The Aggies shot 55 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three, and 83 percent from the line. They had 14 rebounds, five steals, two assists, and ten turnovers. DK Eldridge led the Aggies in scoring with seven points.

Former ORU hooper and now coach David Mason stated that his team wasn't happy with how it finished the half, and that it needed to limit turnovers. He also said that they planned to run a zone defense going into the final half, to keep New Mexico State out of the paint, stop drives, and force the Aggies to shoot.

Opening up the second half, the Aggies immediately increased its lead. By the 15:59 mark, ORU trailed 45-40. ORU continued to chip away at the Aggies lead, stealing it (52-51) with 12 minutes left to play.

Korey Billbury hit his 13th point on back-to-back buckets, to extend the Golden Eagles newly regained lead. With ORU now leading 56-51, they needed to play shutdown defense in order to wrap up with its 8th straight win at home.

With just eight minutes to go, the Golden Eagles led 63-57. ORU's Bobby Word proceeded to hit his second consecutive three, followed by an off the glass bucket from Emegano, to advance the Golden Eagles lead 68-60. At this time (7:47 mark), ORU was shooting 77 percent from the field.

The Golden Eagles gained its largest lead of the game in the final four minutes, heading the Aggies 78-67.

ORU edged New Mexico 81-76 in the final minute. The Golden Eagles went on to win 86-83, moving to 3-4 on the season.

After the game, ORU head coach Scott Sutton said, “We gotta learn how to close games out… it almost cost us tonight.” Despite that, he also stated, “I'm proud of our guys, happy for our guys… good overall win.”

By the end of the game ORU had shot 56 percent from the field, 42 percent from the three, and 69 percent from the line. They had six steals, three blocks, nine assists, and 13 turnovers.

Emegano led ORU in scoring with 24 points. Billbury trailed him with 21.

The Aggies shot 49 percent from the field, 36 percent from the three, and 78 percent from the line. They had 34 rebounds, seven steals, one block, nine assists, and 15 turnovers.

ORU will return to action Monday, December 15, for its rescheduled game against Missouri State. The game is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Mabee Center.

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