The Oral Roberts men's basketball team dominated the boards in the first half and took a lead into the locker room, but things fell apart late and the Golden Eagles lost to Saint Louis, 72-55 Thursday night at Chaifetz Arena.
ORU (2-2) was led by Shawn Glover's 18 points. D.J. Jackson added 12 points, and Korey Billbury had six points, but a career-best 15 rebounds. Billbury's 11 first-half rebounds were more than the entire SLU team (10) as the Golden Eagles held a 25-10 advantage on the boards after 20 minutes.
Saint Louis (4-0) had four players in double figures, including 15 from Jordair Jett. Mike McCall and Dwayne Evans each added 11, and Rob Loe chipped in 10 points.
After shooting 56 percent (13-23) in the first half, ORU hit just 30 percent (9-30) in the second half, while SLU had the opposite trend, moving from 31 percent (11-35) to 53 percent (16-30).
Turnovers also plagued the Golden Eagles, turning it over 18 times, while forcing just six SLU giveaways.
"I thought the first half, we were a better team. We out-rebounded them by 15 and shot the ball great," coach Scott Sutton said. "I'll give Saint Louis credit. They are a tough team, a physical team and an experienced team and they showed that in the second half."
ORU trailed early on as Saint Louis scored the first four points of the game, but it was the largest lead of the first half for the Billikens. ORU used a 6-0 run, capped by a Brandon Conley dunk, to take a 14-10 lead at the 13:07 mark.
Following the dunk, both teams hit a slump and the game didn't see any points for the next 3:11 until a pair of SLU free throws broke the drought.
ORU went on to lead by as many as seven in the first half and never lost the lead, despite a 3-pointer by Jake Barnett cutting it to a 25-24.
ORU looked to have a five-point lead going into halftime, but a layup at the buzzer by Austin McBroom cut it back to three, 31-28.
Saint Louis finally took the lead back four minutes into the second half, 34-33, but Jackson immediately answered with his second 3-pointer of the game to make it 36-34, in favor of the Golden Eagles.
The battle looked to be on with the game tied at 44-44 with 11 minutes to go, but from that point, ORU was out-scored 28-11 by SLU to end the game.
The Billikens would go on to notch their largest lead of the game on a Mike Crawford 3-pointer that would give the final margin, 72-55.
The USA part of the 2013 Cancun Challenge continues for ORU as they head to Wisconsin for a 7:30 tip off on Saturday, November 23.