Hot shooting propelled the Golden Eagles in an 82-65 win over Texas State in their home opener Saturday at the Mabee Center.
Obi Emegano put in a game-high 27 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. The Golden Eagles shot a season-high 66.7 percent from the three-point line hitting 10-15, while Texas State struggled from deep to the tune of 5-17 (29.4 percent).
“The game’s pretty easy when you make shots, that’s the bottom line,” Sutton said in his opening statement to the media. “We were terrific shooting the basketball.”
The game got off to a sloppy start with missed shots and turnovers, and looked like it would be a ‘grinder’ as Sutton calls it. However, three pointers by Shawn Glover, Obi Emegano, and Jabbar Singleton jump-started the Golden Eagles who never trailed after the 12-minute mark of the first half.
The Golden Eagles, as a team, shot 52.2 percent from the field and 60 percent from beyond the arc. Led by Emegano (14pts, 3rebs), and Glover leading to a halftime advantage of 30-24 for ORU.
The Golden Eagles are now 4-0 (counting the two exhibition wins) on the season when leading at the half. A point of emphasis this season is maintaining halftime leads; an area Korey Billbury has seen both sides of.
“Just to finish strong,” Billbury said, when asked about the team’s mindset coming out of the locker room. “Last year we struggled coming out in the second half and staying on top of teams. Coach Sutton constantly drills us on how to come out and prepare for the second half so we don’t let the momentum swing.”
The star of the show was Obi Emegano.
Drawing Emegano’s defensive assignment is quickly becoming one of the most unenviable tasks for defenders night after night. Emegano set a new career-high with his 27 points and also led the team in rebounds with six.
“Obi’s a winner. I think that’s the best way to describe him,” Sutton said. “He’s won everywhere he’s been. He’s a great leader, and in the three games we’ve played so far he’s been terrific.”
The Golden Eagles improve to 2-1 on the season with quality wins now over Tulsa and Texas State. The team hits the road again next week as they take part in the 2013 Cancun Challenge. ORU faces Saint Louis on Thursday and Wisconsin on Friday.