ORU Honors Seniors with 62-58 Win over Denver

ORU Honors Seniors with 62-58 Win over Denver

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The Basics
Score: Oral Roberts 62 – Denver 58
Records: ORU (14-14, 6-8) – Denver (13-14, 5-9)
Location: Mabee Center (Tulsa, Okla.)

TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team got 28 points from its starting front court and 26 more from senior Obi Emegano as the Golden Eagles held on to beat Denver 62-58 Friday night in the final home game of the year.

Emegano scored 26, Albert Owens scored 15 points and the pair tied for the team lead in rebounds with eight each, while Brandon Conley was nearly perfect going 6-7 from the field and 1-1 from the free throw line en route to 13 points.

Joe Rosga and Marcus Byrd each scored 15 points to lead the Pioneers, while C.J. Bobbitt added 13. Byrd also led Denver in rebounding with eight.

ORU led for nearly 35 minutes but was playing catchup late after a Thomas Neff 3-pointer gave Denver its first lead of the game at 48-47. There were five lead changes and one tie when Byrd hit a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer to knot the game at 54-54.

Turning Point
After Byrd tied the game at 54-54, Owens took over and scored on back-to-back possessions to put ORU up 58-54. Emegano finished the game off going 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 10 seconds.

Quote of the Game
"That's why we've been winning, we've been playing defense. You are going to go through periods where shots won't fall but you have to try and get stops. I'm proud of my guys for making this senior day one to remember for me and Brandon." – Obi Emegano 

Individual Leaders
Oral Roberts: Emegano led ORU in points with 26 and tied Owens for the team lead in both rebounds (8) and assists (3).
Denver: Rosga and Byrd each scored 15 points while Byrd grabbed eight rebounds.

Inside the Box Score
- ORU led the rebounding battle 33-25, its largest advantage on the boards since out-rebounding IUPUI 39-25 on January 14.

- Despite 28 points from the ORU big men, Denver actually held a 32-18 advantage in points in the pain. ORU forced 11 Denver turnovers and turned them into 17 points, while Denver scored just six points off 14 ORU turnovers.

-  ORU went cold for an extended period in the second half and shot 39 percent (19-48) from the field and 28 percent (4-14) from 3-point range. ORU was 20-23 (87 percent) from the free throw line.

- Denver hit 43 percent (21-48) from the field but just 23 percent (3-13) from 3-point range. The Pioneers hit 13 of their 14 free throws.

News and Notes
- It looked like ORU would make it a third straight home game without ever trailing, but a Denver run in the second half, capped by a Thomas Neff 3-pointer, put the Pioneers on top 48-47 marking the first time since the end of the IPFW Game January 28 in which ORU trailed on its home court.

- Owens and Emegano combined to score 23 of the final 28 Golden Eagle points in the game.

- Although ORU trailed for 3:50 of the contest, ORU has led for a combined 113 minutes in the last three games.

- ORU has won three games in a row for the second time in Summit League play.

- The Golden Eagles honored their seniors by winning the final regular season home game for the third straight year.

- Friday marked the second time in the last three games in which ORU has held its opponent below 60 points. 

Up Next
ORU finishes out the regular season on the road as ORU travels to Omaha (Feb. 25) and South Dakota State (Feb. 27).  

For the latest information on ORU men's basketball, follow @ORUMBB on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.