The Oral Roberts men's basketball team hosted UC Santa Barbara in round one of the CBI, resulting in a 91-87 Golden Eagles victory.
Both teams were scoreless for the first two minutes, until ORU's Denell Henderson posted two with a hook shot in the paint. Obi Emegano then attempted to get something started for his team after knocking down a three.
The Gauchos didn't let the Golden Eagles expand its lead too far, cutting it to two five minutes into play. Although ORU led, UCSB's stats looked better, shooting 42.9 percent from the field compared to Oral Roberts 33.3 percent.
ORU lost its lead halfway through the half, but a couple of back-to-back buckets from Emegano helped the Golden Eagles reclaim a one-point lead (14-13).
Bobby Word lit up around the eight minute mark, hitting two consecutive threes, elevating the Golden Eagles' lead.
Oral Roberts controlled the half, but couldn't establish a comfortable advantage. Every time the Golden Eagles scored, the Gauchos answered. The game was tied up for the second time by the 3:31 mark (32-all). At this point, Emegano led all-scorers with 17, and ORU had improved its field percentage to 54.5 percent and it's three-point percentage to 60.
Going into halftime, ORU lost its lead, trailing 41-39.
The Golden Eagles stole a 68-62 lead halfway through the final with a three from Aaron Young. Emegano fed off his energy, sinking a deep one shortly after.
Both teams went back-and-forth exchanging buckets, but free throws down the stretch landed ORU a 91-87 victory.
ORU will take on Loyola in round two. Game time and date are TBD.