The Golden Eagle men’s basketball team pulled off yet another much-needed win against Denver 62-58 in its final home game of the season Friday night.
“I thought our defense the first half was good, we held them to 23 points and felt pretty good at halftime,” said head coach Scott Sutton. “In the second half, we just couldn’t buy a basket. We had a lot of clean looks during that one stretch where we couldn’t get one to fall. Give our guys a lot of credit, it’s good to win game like this when you have to fight to come back from behind an execute in crunch time.”
ORU led for 37 minutes until Denver made a three to put them up by three. Both teams went back and forth until the Albert Owens hit two points with 25 second left. The Golden Eagles led the rest of the game and didn’t look back.
“I rallied my guys together and said ‘Look, we’re going to win this game. We’re not losing this game. Pick your heads up,’” said redshirt senior guard Obi Emegano. “We go in the huddle and everybody puts their heads down [and I say] ‘Pick your heads up, let’s go. Let’s get a stop and let’s go down there and score’ and that’s exactly what we did.”
Denver out scored ORU going 44 percent from the field, but ORU held the Pioneers to only three from beyond the arc and made 17 points off 11 turnovers. The Golden Eagles outrebounded
Emegano led the team scoring 26 points, with 14 from the free throw line, and pulling down eight rebound.
Albert Owens had 15 points and eight assists and Brandon Conley scored 13 points.
“Although we didn’t play very well, I think our guys will take a lot out of this game,” Sutton said.
Emegano and Conley both expressed gratitude when asked about their time at ORU.
“It’s been a blessing,” Emegano said. “I’ve had some injuries, but I just thank God that he gives me the opportunity to wake up and do what I love.”
Conley echoes a similar sentiment saying, “These four years have meant so much to me because it’s transformed me from the boy in high school to the man that I am today leaving this court. I’m grateful that I was put on this path to come to this school and play for this university.”
The Golden Eagles play at Omaha on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. and South Dakota State on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. ORU hopes to finish the regular season with a Summit League tournament bid.