The men’s basketball team faced off with a tough Rogers State team in its home exhibition opener. The Golden Eagles made big shots down the stretch, using a 15-4 run in the last six minutes to solidify a 82-74 win.
“Well, it wasn’t pretty,” said head coach Scott Sutton. “ I’m actually surprised at how poorly we played. I think one area we could have controlled was our toughness and effort.”
ORU played well on offense all night, knocking down over 50 percent of their shots, including a barrage of 3-pointers (9-16), two of which came in the last two minutes of the game putting the Hillcats away for good.
“It felt good to out there on the floor, but we were all nervous”, said Jalen Bradley. “Give credit to them. They came out and played really hard.”
Newcomer Bradley had a major impact on the game, knocking down three bombs from behind the arc in route to his game-high 17 points. Bradley also led in assists finishing with four.
Despite the impressive offensive showing, ORU struggled with turning the ball over and rebounding, allowing RSU a 40-26 advantage.
Sutton was not happy with the lack of effort on the boards but wasn’t overly concerned about the close game.
“This is what these types of games are for,” said Sutton. “We’re trying to get the new guys acclimated to this level of playing.”
ORU kept tradition going steady, now 27-0 in exhibition play since the 2002-03 season.
The Golden Eagles will complete exhibition play on Saturday in a game against the University of Central Oklahoma. The game is set for 7 p.m. at the Mabee Center.