Down 17 in the first half, the Oral Roberts University men's basketball team got within four in the second half and put a scare into No. 12 Wisconsin before eventually falling 76-67 on Saturday night.
Down 28-11 with 9:09 to go in the first half, ORU out-scored Wisconsin 56-48 over the remaining 31 minutes of the game.
While Bobby Word provided the spark for ORU (2-3) early on, it was Shawn Glover who led the charge in the second half, scoring 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second frame. Word finished the first half with eight points and six rebounds after making the first start of his career, and finished with a career high 14 points and seven rebounds.
D.J. Jackson shot well from long range, hitting three of his four 3-point attempts en route to 11 points. As a team, ORU shot a better percentage than the Badgers (6-0), connecting on 55 percent (27-49) from the field and 53 percent (7-13) from 3-point range. Wisconsin hit 47 percent (27-57) from the field and 30 percent (7-23) from three.
Aiding the Badger's cause was a 30-24 rebounding edge, including 12 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points. The Badgers also force 14 ORU turnovers, while the Badgers gave it away eight times.
All five starters hit double figures for Wisconsin, led by Frank Kaminsky's 21. Josh Gasser added 15, Ben Brust had 12, Traevon Jackson added 11 and Sam Dekker finished with 10 points.
"I was pleased with the way we fought," said Coach Scott Sutton. "Probably the biggest differences in the game were our turnovers, and giving up too many offensive rebounds. We were rattled early and we had some costly turnovers. Give Wisconsin a lot of credit. I have so much respect for Coach (Bo) Ryan, and they have a chance to be really good."
Wisconsin had everything rolling early and ORU struggled to get anything going to start the game. Less than four minutes into the game, the Golden Eagles already found themselves in a 9-0 hole, and the deficit grew to as many as 17 in the first half.
After looking like it could be a blowout, ORU rallied behind a solid first half from Word, cutting it to a nine point hole, 37-28 at the half.
The Golden Eagles continued to battle and put an uneasy feeling inside the 16,710 Badger fans inside the Kohl Center as they cut the lead to four with less than six minutes to play in the second half.
As Glover hit another jumper and drew the foul with 3:20 to play, his free throw cut it to a four point game again, 66-62.
Wisconsin held ORU off and added late free throws as the Golden Eagles were forced to foul in the final minute of the game, taking it from a five point game at 1:15, to the final nine-point margin, 76-67.
ORU now joins seven other teams in Cancun, Mexico, for the bracket portion of the 2013 Cancun Challenge. ORU will face Georgia Southern in the first round on Tuesday, November 26, at 2 p.m.