ORU men's basketball took on pre-season favorite IPFW Saturday night in the Mabee Center. The Golden Eagles were able to come back for a 62-58 second-half victory, making it the team's fourth consecutive win and 11th straight home win. Oral Roberts is now 10-8 on the season and 4-1 in conference, while IPFW dropped to 8-10 overall and 1-4 in league play.
The first half ended close, but the Mastodons were able to outscore the Golden Eagles 27-23.
Keys To The First Half
-ORU needed to rebound. The Golden Eagles were outrebounded 22-16 by IPFW.
-ORU also lacked efficiency on offense. The team scored 53 first-half points against Omaha in its last contest, compared to 23 first-half points against IPFW.
-The Golden Eagles needed to re-group, and take advantage of offensive opportunities/possessions. ORU had too many second chance point opportunities that it failed to capitalize on. ORU also failed to stop IPFW's Steve Forbes.
ORU's Obi Emegano hit a corner three, chipping away at the Mastodons' lead. By the 14:17 mark, ORU had cut IPFW's lead to four. One minute later, Darrian Harris sank a three for ORU making it a one-point game. Following that, Emegano knocked down another three, helping the Golden Eagles snatch a 37-35 lead. ORU was now 4-4 from the three in the second half. At this point, ORU's leading scorer Emegano had eight points and four assists.
With ten minutes left of play, the game was tied for the eighth time of the night (42-42). Oral Roberts proceeded to quickly regain the lead, but the Mastodons managed to tie it up again. The game went back-and-forth in the final minutes, but ORU was able to pull-out a four-point win over IPFW.
ORU finished the game shooting 20-52 from the field, 9-20 from the three, 13-17 from the line, and snagged 32 rebounds. IPFW finished the game shooting 23-54 from the field, 5-24 from the three, 7-9 from the line, and snagged 37 rebounds.
Second Half Improvements
-Emegano stepped up in the defining moments of the game, including a big three in the final minute that gave ORU a five-point lead (58-53).
-Emegano started the defensive riot that kept IPFW out of the paint, which forced the team to shoot from outside.
-ORU played more aggressive on both ends of the ball and rebounded better.
The Golden Eagles return to action Wednesday, January 21, to play Denver in Colorado at 7:00 p.m.