The men’s basketball team returned home after dropping all five games during its December road swing hoping to snap its losing streak, but fell to South Dakota 94-84 in its second Summit League match up.
“That was a disappointing performance to say the least. I’m not using Obi’s being out as an excuse at all. It was a game we had to win, we had to play with a sense of urgency and we didn’t,” said head coach Scott Sutton. “I take full responsibility. It’s my job to get these guys prepared to play. It’s my job to get them to play at a level we all expect them to play at and we’re not getting it done; I’m not getting it done right now.”
Two freshmen, DaQuan Jeffries and Kris Martin, led the team in scoring posting 18 and 15 points, respectively. Jeffries was top scorer even with a dislocated finger on his shooting hand. Aaron Anderson had 11 points and seven boards while Jalen Bradley led the team with six assists.
The ORU men led the Coyotes 44-42 at halftime, but were unable to hold onto their lead allowing 52 South Dakota points in the second half.
“You’re not going to win too many games giving up 94 points,” said Aaron Young. “Every team in this league can beat anybody on any given night, so if you don’t bring it that’s what’s going to happen.”
The Coyotes made 36 points off 22 Golden Eagle turnovers which hurt the already struggling team.
“That’s the two biggest reasons we lost,” Sutton said. “Our defense was awful and not taking care of the basketball.”
ORU is now 8-8 overall and 0-2 in Summit League play.
“You can’t afford to go 0-2 and fall two games back,” said Sutton. “If you’re going to compete for a conference championship, you cannot lose home games and we didn’t play with that sense of urgency, that desperation you have to play with.”
Senior guard Obi Emegano sat out this game with a concussion with no official word on when he will return. Sutton said Emegano will be under supervision and have a concussion test every day until he is cleared to play.
Even with the six game losing streak, Aaron Anderson said “[Young and I] still believe in our team and we’re going to figure it out.”
The ORU men will play at Denver on Wednesday and return back to the Mabee Center on Saturday to face North Dakota State at 7 p.m.