ORU men’s basketball opened its season with an 82-75 exhibition game win against Southeastern Oklahoma State University Wednesday night at the Mabee Center.
Albert Owens led the team with 25 points and three blocks. Freshmen Chris Miller and Dezmond McDaniel also posted double digit figures of 12 and 10, respectively. Owens and Emmanuel Nzekwesi both had six rebounds.
Head Coach Scott Sutton said exhibition games are an opportunity to play a lot of guys and he did. Eleven out of the 15 players, including five freshmen, saw minutes but he was especially impressed with McDaniel.
“It helped him tremendously that he was able to go out and get a wide open layup,” said Sutton. “It’s amazing what a layup can do for somebody’s confidence. You could see when he got that layup some of the nerves I’m sure he was feeling went away. He is a good player, but I didn’t expect him to play quite as well as he did tonight.”
Owens echoed a similar sentiment about the new faces on the team.
“I really think that these new guys are going to be good for our team,” said Owens. “I think they’re going to do a lot of good things for us and I am really excited to see what they’ve got to bring.”
Southeastern kept up shooting 50 percent from the field while the Golden Eagles shot 49.2 and pulling down 32 boards, only three less than ORU. Sutton and company stayed alive through their 14 made free throws and eight threes. The Savage Storm also managed to block five shots and get seven steals.
“[There was] some good, a lot of bad. This was probably a typical exhibition game,” said Head Coach Scott Sutton. “I really thought we’d play better tonight than we did, especially on the defensive end. That’s where we really struggled. We’re much better than we showed tonight.”
The Golden Eagles’ biggest struggle was taking care of the ball. The team committed 15 turnovers and forced 13.
“Fifteen turnovers is probably the one glaring stat on the offensive side, where we have to do a much better job. On defense we gave up way too many easy baskets.”
The Golden Eagles open the regular season Friday, Nov. 11 at Baylor before returning to the Mabee Center for its regular season home opener against Rogers State on Monday, Nov. 14.