Golden Eagles Down Bears in SLC Basketball Play

Courtesy University of Central Arkansas Athletics Department

TULSA _ A flurry of three-pointers in the first half and solid rebounding throughout the game carried the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles to a 94-65 victory over the University of Central Arkansas Bears in Southland Conference action on Tuesday night at the Mabee Center.

The Golden Eagles (17-10, 12-3) got hot from the perimeter midway through the half and turned a small lead into a large one. ORU hit four three-pointers over a span of three minutes to push its lead to 26-11 with 10:14 to play. Jarvis Garner answered for UCA with a three-pointer with 8:29 left in the half, but the Eagles put together another run to go up by as much as 25 before the halftime break.

The Eagles shot 44.2 percent from the field in the decisive first half, and made 6 of 13 from three-point range.

“Oral Roberts is a strong team,’ said UCA head coach Corliss Williamson. “You look at their lineup, they have some players. They have the big guys inside, their wing players played well. They really killed us on the boards in the first half and we just never recovered from that.’

The loss was UCA’s fifth consecutive and sixth in their past seven games. ORU won its third straight game, with the rematch with UCA coming on March 9 in Conway in the regular-season finale.

UCA had 12 turnovers in the first half and shot just 32.3 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. ORU dominated the boards, outrebounding UCA 29-18, with 14 offensive rebounds.

The Golden Eagles, sitting in third place in the league with three games remaining, never slowed down in the second half, and in fact shot even better. They ran out to leads of as much as 33 points while shooting 56.3 percent. ORU connected on 49.3 percent for the game and finished with 24 offensive rebounds, of which it turned into 26 second-chance points.

ORU scored 54 points in the paint and had six players in double figures. Damen Bell-Holter led the Golden Eagles with 17 points, while Warren Niles had 16 and Shawn Glover had 14. Bell-Holter also had a game-high 10 rebounds for his league-leading 11th double-double.

“The points in the paint really killed us,’ said Williamson. “They just attacked the basket and finished when they got in there. And we get inside like that, we’re not finishing. We’re rushing our shots, we’re not concentrating. It’s like we’re scared to get a shot blocked or don’t want to draw the contact. We have to figure out something there.’

For the Bears, junior guard LaQuentin Miles had 14 points, 12 in the second half. Senior guard Jarvis Garner and junior forward Jordan Harks addded 12 points each for UCA.

UCA hosts SIU-Edwardsville in non-conference action at 4:30 Saturday as part of the BracketBusters event. The Bears return to SLC action next Thursday at Lamar in an ESPN3 contest.


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