Norman, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Intrastate rivals collide on Tuesday evening, as the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts pay a visit to the 15th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
After starting the season at 1-3, Oral Roberts have won three of its last four to climb back to the .500 mark (4-4). The Golden Eagles improved to 3-0 at home on Monday night, as they took down Missouri State in an 80-61 final. They are 0-3 in true road games however, and this is the first of three straight and five of the next six the team will play away from the Mabee Center.
Oklahoma comes in with a 6-2 record, and the team is seeking its third consecutive victory after taking down Missouri (82-63) and Tulsa (87-68) since the start of December. The Sooners are 3-0 at home this season.
Two years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma snapped Oral Roberts' 24-game regular-season, home winning streak with a 63-62 victory. As a result, the Sooners' lead in the all-time series stands at 12-2.
Oral Roberts drained a season-high 10 3-pointers in turning away the visiting Missouri State Bears on Monday night. Bobby Word scored 16 points, Adrion Webber tallied a career-best 15, and Denell Henderson pitched in with a dozen to go with eight rebounds for the Golden Eagles, who shot 49.1 percent from the field and converted 14-of-18 free throws. The team's defensive effort yielded only a .393 opponent's field goal percentage, which included a dismal 4-of-17 showing from beyond the arc. Aaron Young and Obi Emegano each scored a 12 points for the winning side as well.
Emegano and Korey Billbury are the only two players averaging double figures for ORU on the season, netting 16.9 and 13.8 ppg, respectively. They also pace the team's rebounding effort with a combined 11.8 rpg. Overall, the Golden Eagles are putting up just 66.4 ppg in hitting only 39.9 percent of their total shots, which includes a 31.3 percent performance from beyond the arc. Conversely, foes are scoring just shy of 70 ppg in hitting 45.0 percent of their field goal attempts, with a .366 3-point FG percentage figured in there as well. ORU is +1.4 in turnover margin, goading the opposition into close to 14 miscues per outing.
TaShawn Thomas scored 25 points and Isaiah Cousins hit for 21, as Oklahoma claimed a double-digit win at Tulsa on Saturday. Buddy Hield pitched in with 11 points, despite going just 4-of-17 from the field, which included misses on nine of his 11 3-point tries. Jordan Woodard dished out nine assists for the Sooners, who shot 46.9 percent from the field and went 19-of-24 at the foul line. Tulsa was held to 40 percent field goal efficiency, and OU used 12 offensive rebounds to account for 24 second-chance points.
Hield (16.0 ppg), Cousins (13.4 ppg) and Thomas (10.3 ppg) are Oklahoma's only double-digit scorers at the moment, although leading rebounder Ryan Spanger (9.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg) is close to joining the ranks. As a team, the Sooners are netting 73.8 ppg while permitting 62.1 ppg, and they are limiting the opposition to rather anemic shooting efforts of .367 overall and .279 from beyond the arc. Factor in a +4.0 rebounding advantage and it's not difficult to see why the team has won three times as many games as its lost to this point.