The Golden Eagles fell 10 points short to Summit League powerhouse South Dakota State on Saturday. The Jackrabbits dominated, steadily holding the lead throughout the game, as well as out-rebounding and out-shooting the Golden Eagles. South Dakota’s star Mike Daum drained 27 points and put up a tough defense game that proved too much for ORU to overcome.
Coach Mills had no problem conveying how he felt after the game, stating that he was “Disappointed, obviously. Losing is never fun.”
It did not help ORU that one of their key contributing guards, R.J. Fuqua, was out with an ankle injury. Fuqua’s absence allowed the Jackrabbit’s guards to take control of the game, and they did not take this opportunity for granted as they shot 53 percent from the field, and hit 10 of 22 three-pointers. The Golden Eagles’ post players didn’t do much to pick up the slack, either, as Coach Paul Mills expressed, “Our bigs weren’t able to do much against theirs… and that was disappointing.”
For the Golden Eagles, Austin Ruder and Sam Kearns both contributed 14 points, and Emmanuel Nzekwesi and Jontray Harris had 11 points apiece.
Despite the discouraging loss, Coach Mills is already looking at ways to improve and what remainder of the season will look like for the Golden Eagles. “We need to make sure were dialed into doing what we do best.” He stated, “It’s not an uphill climb that we’re not able to get done. We can still finish in the top three [in conference play].”
The Golden Eagles will have a chance at a win on Wednesday, Feb. 14 as they face the South Dakota Coyotes at 7 p.m. in the Mabee Center.