ORU romps for spot in first place

January 31, 2013

Oral Roberts out-scored McNeese State 22-7 over the final 9:10 of the game, taking a 75-54 victory on Saturday night at the Mabee Center.

Coupled with a Stephen F. Austin loss to Northwestern State, ORU (12-8, 7-1 Southland) moves into a tie for first place in the league, while McNeese fell to 8-10 (2-6 Southland) with the loss.

The only bigger margin of victory for ORU this season was a 49-point victory over St. Gregory’s. The Golden Eagles out-rebounded the Cowboys 41-28 and holding a 44-22 advantage in points in the paint.

Shawn Glover tied his career best with 24 points, hitting that mark for the second game in a row, while Damen Bell-Holter added 22. The duo each tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds apiece. Korey Billbury also turned in a solid performance with eight assists, giving him 18 assists with just three turnovers over the past two games. ORU shot 54.4 percent (31-57) in the game, topping the 50 percent mark in both halves. It was the first time since connecting on 28-52 shots at Nicholls State in which ORU has hit more than half its shots.

“Take away the first few minutes in the first half and first few minutes in the second half, I thought that was the most complete game we’ve played in a long time,” said Coach Scott Sutton. “I thought both halves we settled in and defended. I thought we played with energy and I thought we played together. We ran the floor well and got some easy baskets. It was good to get Steven Roundtree back. I thought he gave us a spark and some energy off the bench and we needed it.”

McNeese was led by Kevin Hardy’s 12 points, the only Cowboy of the 11 who played to score in double figures.

ORU hosts Nicholls State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.