Oral Roberts 89, Western Illinois 70

Friday, January 9th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Josh Atkinson and Ken Tutt scored 19 points apiece to lead Oral Roberts past Western Illinois 89-70 in a Mid-Continent Conference game on Thursday night.

Jonathan Bluitt added 14 points and 12 assists for the Golden Eagles (10-4 overall, 3-0 Mid-Con) while teammate Caleb Green contributed 13 points and nine rebounds.

J.D. Summers paced the Leathernecks (2-12, 0-3) with 17 points.

Tutt scored 12 points in the second half to keep ORU, which led 43-32 at intermission, comfortably ahead during the last 20 minutes. The Leathernecks cut their deficit to 45-36, but they could not get any closer as ORU answered with a 12-5 run.

Western Illinois reeled off seven straight points to reduce ORU's lead to 72-62 with five minutes left. However, a basket by Green and a 3-pointer by Atkinson repelled the Leathernecks' threat.

In the first half, Doyle Cole's basket opened the scoring, but 2-0 was the Leathernecks' only lead of the game. ORU's biggest lead before halftime was 34-21 with 6:23 remaining.

Western Illinois went on a 10-3 roll to cut ORU's advantage to 37-31. Bluitt scored four points in the final 1:19 to help boost the Golden Eagles' lead to 11 at halftime.