ORU (13-14, 5-8) won back-to-back games last week with a 72-66 win at home over Western Illinois (9-14, 2-10) and 77-56 victory over IUPUI (11-16, 7-5).
“With us winning I can look back and say that it is good for us to win this kind of game,” said ORU coach Scott Sutton. “We had lost a couple of games similar to this and to be able to win like this gives your guys confidence and a sense of toughness to win in crunch time.”
ORU was 10-12 from the free throw line in the final five minutes and 23-27 from the charity stripe for the game.
Obi Emegano scored 12 of his team-leading 26 points from the line, and had 18 points after halftime.
Albert Owens matched his career high with 21 points. Emegano and Owens also led ORU on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds each.
ORU led in rebounding 35-34 and dominated the paint with a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint. ORU also used 15 WIU turnovers to a 20-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
Against IUPUI, ORU had nine steals and had six blocks Thursday night at the Mabee Center.
The 56 points given up, including four inside the final 30 seconds, were the fewest given up to a Division I opponent this year and second only to the 53 scored by John Brown.
Emegano led ORU in points (21), rebounds (13) and steals (4). Young dished out a team high five assists.
“Our guys were fun to watch,” said Sutton. “That was the team that back in December I envisioned we could be. For whatever reason we struggled a bunch but what I’m most proud of with this team is that they never gave up. They showed up every day at practice and they wanted to get better. They are great kids and I’m happy for them.”