ORU defeats the University of Tulsa in their season opener by a final score of 74-68 Sunday night at the Reynolds Center. In his Golden Eagle debut Obi Emegano led the way with 19 points and 6 rebounds.
ORU took a three-point lead into halftime with a single message being preached. Finish.
Tulsa overcame a 17-point lead in the second half to beat ORU just one year ago at the Mabee Center. With this loss fresh on their minds, the Golden Eagles took the floor in the second half determined to right the wrongs that led to that defeat.
These efforts were met by adversity when foul trouble eliminated the Golden Eagles’ lone senior, Shawn Glover, and sophomore Brandon Conley with 4:51 remaining in the game. The Golden Eagles were left to close the game without their key interior defender and their leading scorer.
These words hit home for Billbury who left his mark on the Mayor’s Cup, scoring on two straight possessions and giving the Golden Eagles a lead they rode to the finish line.
“To be able to go on the road, not play your best, and win a rivalry game it should give our guys a ton of confidence.” Sutton said.
There were two clear stats that defined this game.
1. Free Throws – The Golden Hurricanes shot 17-36 (47 percent) from the free throw line for the game and 1-9 (11 percent) in the second half. ORU took advantage of their foul shots hitting 19-24 (79 percent) in the second half.
2. Rebounds – The Golden Eagles also out-rebounded the Golden Hurricanes 45-28. These are the energy and effort plays that are required to win games of this magnitude on the road.
The Golden Eagles are about to head into the stiffest part of their non-conference schedule, but for tonight it’s sweet victory for ORU.
“Honestly, being 1-0 has never felt so good in my life,” D.J. Jackson said. “When you come into a game like this, it’s not just about this team. It’s about the university, the alumni and everything that has to do with ORU. To win a game like this, it’s for everybody.”