Cancellations, postponements, rescheduling, and last-minute games are all apart of the New Norm that is COVID Era Hoops and the ORU Men’s Team has experienced its fair share of this new way of College Basketball Life. Coach Paul Mills and his staff has already had to postpone 2 games, cancel another, and added a late match-up vs In-State Foe, Oklahoma, who they played Wednesday night in Norman. While the late addition to the schedule would make no one blink an eye, it was played the night after ORU hosted local NAIA Program, Bacone College. Game recaps are below.
(Disclaimer: Neither game was televised in my area, so recaps based off twitter highlights and box scores 😉)
Oral Roberts – 96 vs Bacone – 65 (12/15/20)
Playing against an overmatched NAIA foe in Bacone, Coach Mills wisely rested his two stars, Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor with an impending match-up the following night vs. Big XII power Oklahoma. It also gave him and his staff an opportunity to give several players additional minutes. With graduating seniors, Deondre Burns (2nd Team All-Summit League) & Emmanuel Nzekwesi (1st Team All-Summit League) gone, the team still needs to find out who will be the key players surrounding Abmas & Obanor if they want to make a run in Sioux Falls this March.
D’Mauria Jones was one such player to take advantage of increased minutes by pacing the Golden Eagles with 16 points and a whopping 21 Rebounds. He also added 2 steals on his career night where he played 31 minutes (Averages 12.2 MPG).
Jones and the Eagles started off quick getting out to an 8-point lead, while they never trailed, Bacone managed to close the gap to 29-23 with 7:34 to go in the 1st Half. However, that would be as close as it got for the Warriors as ORU closed the half with a 19-5 run and essentially putting the game away.
– DeShang Weaver & Kareem Thompson both added 13 points and 6 Rebounds with Thompson adding 2 steals
– Carlos Jurgens (3-5 3pt), RJ Glasper (4-7 3pt), & Justin Lovvorn (3-5 3pt) put on a 3pt shooting clinic by going a combined 10-17 beyond the arc
– 4th Year Team Manager, Lorenz Ross, suited up for the 1st Time and played 5+ Minutes and going 2-2 from the Charity Stripe
– ORU Dominated the Glass 62-39
Oral Roberts – 65 vs Oklahoma – 79 (12/16/20)
Night 2 of ORU’s Back to Backs would not be as fruitful as the Golden Eagles would take on Big XII Foe Oklahoma in Norman, OK. The Sooners were led by the second coming of Larry Bird, in Brady Manek (Side Note: I’m still not convinced he’s not the Son of the NBA Hall of Famer), who poured in 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Sooner Guard, Austin Reaves, had an even more impressive night with his near Triple Double, posting 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 Assist. In a losing effort Max Abmas lead the way with 20 points and 4 rebounds while Kevin Obanor would add 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, their hot outside shooting from the night before was nowhere to be found in the first half in Norman. The Sooners would race out to a 7-0 lead to start the game before the Golden Eagles got on the board. While ORU stayed within striking distance for the first 13 minutes of the game, their cold shooting (7-33 FGs including 2-16 on 3pts) would ultimately prove disastrous as the Sooners ended the final 7 minutes with a 17-4 run.
The second half of the game would be more competitive with ORU regaining their shooting form. Kareem Thompson reignited the Golden Eagles offense with a corner 3 at the 18:24 mark and would add 2 more treys from his hot corner on the way to scoring 11 second half points. Obanor added 12 of his 16 points and Abmas knocked down three more buckets beyond the arc, including a buzzer beater. Even with ORU waking up after intermission, Oklahoma would not allow the game to get within single digits behind seniors Reaves, Manek and a strong bench. Second half highlights would include 16 points from Reaves on 5-9 shooting and a highlight put back dunk by Larry Bird Jr. (Manek).
Barring another late game addition, Paul Mills squad will close out the Non-Conference schedule on Sunday (12/20) against Eric Musselman’s, Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs boast a record of 6-0 and are led by Freshman Phenom, Moses Moody (16ppg & 5.7rpg) and Junior Transfer JD Notae (13.3 ppg & 3.5rpg). Tip in Fayetteville is set for 1pm CST and will be broadcasted on the SEC Network.