The Oral Roberts men's basketball team was within striking distance with under a minute to go but could not complete a furious comeback as ORU fell 86-78 on the road at Loyola Monday night in the second round of the College Basketball Invitational.
The Golden Eagles were down as many as 17 in the second half, but got within four points with 32 seconds to play.
ORU's season came to an end after shooting just 40 percent (25-62) from the field. For the second game in a row, ORU hit a season high 11 3-pointers in the game, but Loyola made up the difference at the free throw line, connecting on 27-35 from the charity stripe, while ORU hit 17-22 from the line.
Aaron Young shattered his previous career high of 14 with 26 points to lead all scorers. Bobby Word hit late 3-pointers to get ORU back in the game and to get too 22 points for the game. Obi Emegano chipped in 10 points.
For Loyola, Earl Peterson was 11-11 from the free throw line en route to 19 points. Montel James added 17 points, Christian Thomas scored 15 and Milton Doyle added 14 off the bench. Although no single player had more than six rebounds, the Ramblers out-rebounded ORU 43-24.
As ORU worked its strategy to perfection down the stretch and the Golden Eagles used three triples from Word to cut the Loyola lead to as few as four within the last minute. After falters at the line, Peterson hit a pair of free throws to hold off the ORU charge.
Oral Roberts: Young hit four 3-pointers and was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line to score a career best 26. Three Golden Eagles, Word, Emegano and Brandon Conley, each had four rebounds, while Young, Word and Darian Harris tied with three assists each.
Loyola: Earl Peterson had 19 points, including 11 from the free throw line. Donte Ingram led the Ramblers with six rebounds, while Peterson led the way with five assists.
Inside the Box Score
- The 15 point halftime deficit was the largest since ORU's loss at South Dakota State February 21. After that game, ORU won four of the next five games entering Monday's matchup.
- ORU was out-rebounded 43-24 in the game.
- ORU hit more 3-pointers than LU (11-27 vs. 7-14), but it was the Ramblers with a 27-17 advantage in made free throws.
- ORU turned the ball over just six times in the game and converted 14 Loyola turnovers into a 22-4 edge in points off turnovers.
- Loyola was 27-35 from the free throw line, the most in both categories for an ORU opponent this year.
News & Notes
- With the opening basket of the game, Young extended ORU's streak of games with a made free throw to 90 consecutive contests.
- Young's 3-pointer in the second half finished a quick six-point spurt for ORU, cutting it to an 11-point deficit and gave the sophomore a career high 16 points with more than 17 minutes to go in the game. He finished with 26 points to lead all scorers.
- Longtime Midwestern Collegiate Conference rivals, the loss snapped ORU's four-game winning streak in the series and gives Loyola a 15-10 advantage all-time.
- ORU's season comes to an end with a 19-15 overall record.
- Emegano finished the season sixth overall and fourth at the Division I level in ORU history in free throws made and attempted, having gone 205-260 for the season.