ORU men's basketball took on North Dakota State Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in its Summit League opener. The game went down to the wire, but the Golden Eagles weren't able to pull off the win. ORU fell 72-66, dropping to 6-8.
The Bison hit a couple threes to start off leading the first half 6-3. ORU went 1-8, and allowed NDSU to score 12 straight points. ORU's failure to score and get back in transition contributed to the Bison's 15-3 lead at the 13:35 mark.
ORU's defense continued to lack, and its offense continued to struggle. At the 10:37 mark ORU was 2-12 from the field, and trailing 21-6. In that same minute, the Golden Eagles managed to hit its first two-point basket of the contest. In the next minute ORU's Denell Henderson hit his eighth point, helping the Golden Eagles cut NDSU's lead 23-11.
NDSU stayed hot, taking advantage of nearly every offensive possession. With seven minutes before halftime, the Bison had hit four threes and advanced to a 13-point lead (26-13). A three from ORU's Korey Billbury decreased the Bison's lead to eight at the 5:46 mark. ORU proceded to go on an 11-0 run, making it a two-point game with four minutes before the half (26-24).
At the 3:24 mark, Henderson contributed a three-point play that tied the game 29-29. He now had 15 points, usually only averaging seven a game. ORU's leading scorer Obi Emegano then took the ball up court for two, getting the Golden Eagles its first lead of the game.
At the buzzer, the game was tied 34-34.
Henderson opened up the second with an under the basket bucket, helping ORU take a 36-34 lead. North Dakota State tied it up, but not for long. With just under 16 minutes on the clock, Emegano knocked down ORU's seventh three of the game to regain the lead.
Four minutes later, the Bison took a 45-44 lead. Bobby Word answered for the Golden Eagles by knocking down his first three and basket of the game, helping ORU snatch a two-point lead.
With just under 11 minutes NDSU's Lawrence Alexander drove down the middle and knocked down his 15th point of the game, regaining a slight lead for the Bison. ORU answered that with bucket of its own, but Alexander took the ball down court on NDSU's following possession and sank it from deep (making it his fourth three). At the 8:43 mark, the Bison led 52-49.
ORU continued to fight back, knocking down another three. The game was tied 52-52 at this point, and the Golden Eagles had knocked down 10-14 threes, more than twice its normal average.
The game was tied up 64-64 with a 1:27 to play, but North Dakota State pulled off a 72-66 win over the Golden Eagles.
ORU returns to action to host IUPUI January 7. The game tips off at 7:00 p.m. in the Mabee Center.