A perfect 6-for-6 start from the field from Obi Emegano paved the way for a career night for the junior guard and led the Oral Roberts men's basketball team past North Dakota State Friday night, 74-58.
Emegano out-scored the Bison team in the first half with 23 points in the first 20 minutes as ORU used a 12-0 run to open up a 41-21 halftime lead. Emegano finished with a career high 34 points, his third 30-point game of the season. Bobby Word was 6-of-8 from 3-point range for the game, matching a career high in 3-pointers made as well as points with 20. Emegano also set a career high with eight rebounds to lead the way, while Word matched his career high with seven boards.
A.J. Jacobson led NDSU with 15 points, while the Summit League's leading scorer, Lawrence Alexander, was held to just 11 points, eight points below his season average. Alexander was held to just two points and without a field goal in the first half. Paul Miller chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Quote of the Game
“The effort, the chemistry, the enthusiasm was there. We played a great game and beat a really good team in North Dakota State that was playing for a lot tonight. I thought our defense was the best it has been in a long, long time. In fact, I think that was the best game we've played all season, certainly the best we've played since maybe Tulsa. It was a great win and a team win and I'm excited for them.” – Coach Scott Sutton
Up 7-4, the defense held NDSU down while the Golden Eagles mounted a 12-0 run to open up a 19-4 lead with 10:50 to go in the first half. Midway through the first half, the Bison had just six points after starting the game 2-of-16 from the field.
Oral Roberts: Obi Emegano scored 34 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Both marks led ORU and set new career highs. Bobby Word matched the best game of his career with 20 points—including six 3-pointers—and seven rebounds.
North Dakota State: A.J. Jacobson led the Bison with 15 points and four assists. Carlin Dupree, Lawrence Alexander and Dexter Werner all tied with a team-high five rebounds.
Inside the Box Score
- Emegano set a new career high with his third 30-point game of the season. Emegano finished with 34 points.
- Word matched his career high with 20 points. The duo combined to shoot 19-29 (66 percent) for the game, including 9-12 (75 percent) from 3-point range.
- Word had the third 20-point game of his career and matched a career high with six triples.
- ORU shot 54 percent (27-50) for the game and 58.8 percent (10-17) from 3-point range. The 58 percent from three is the second highest of the season, only behind the 66 percent (10-15) against the Bison in the first meeting.
- NDSU was held to just 36.4 percent (20-55) from the field, including a 27 percent (8-29) mark in the first half.
- ORU held a 34-31 edge in rebounding, with the guards doing the bulk of the damage. Emegano had a career high eight rebounds, Word matched his career best with seven boards, and Darian Harris grabbed six. Adrion Webber came off the bench to grab five boards.
News & Notes
- Emegano moved into seventh in the ORU single-season record books with his 171st made free throw of the season. Emegano finished the game with seven made free throws, giving him 174 for his career and moving him past Damen Bell-Holter (2012-13) and Richard Fuqua (1971-72).
- ORU is now 10-2 at home this year, marking the 11th time in the last 14 years in which ORU has won at least 10 home games.
- Thursday's victory was ORU's eighth win of the season against a 2014 postseason team, and its fourth against a 2014 NCAA Tournament team. ORU also took down Tulsa (Nov. 15), Milwaukee (Nov. 26) and New Mexico State (Dec. 13).
- Word made his first start since the November 25 contest against Louisiana as ORU used its 12th different starting lineup of the season.
- With a 20-point lead at halftime, ORU had its largest halftime lead in a Summit League game this year.
- ORU led by as many as 23 points in the game (55-32). The 23-point deficit was NDSU's largest of the Summit League season, and third largest of the season behind only Iowa (38) and Texas (39).
- It didn't take long for ORU to keep its 3-point streak alive as Bobby Word connected 3:36 into the game to give ORU a 5-2 lead and make it 85-straight games with a made 3-pointer for ORU.
- ORU is now 10-6 all-time against North Dakota State and has won five of the last six meetings.
ORU closes the regular season Saturday with a 7 p.m. contest against Denver at the Mabee Center. ORU's seniors,Adrion Webber and Denell Henderson, as well as video coordinator Patrick Reside, will be honored following the game. Saturday's contest will be broadcast on ESPN3 and will be available on the WatchESPN app as well as ESPN Full Court.