Red-hot Niles spurs ORU win
BY Staff Reports
Friday, November 23, 2012
11/23/12 at 4:42 AM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Not even playing in a city where the high temperature was 19 degrees Thursday could cool off Warren Niles.
The senior guard continued his scorching start to the season, scoring 33 points to fuel Oral Roberts to a 75-66 victory over Loyola Marymount at the Great Alaska Shootout.
Niles has scored 88 points during a three-game winning streak, helping the Golden Eagles improve to 3-1 for their best start since the 2006-07 season.
"What can you say about Warren Niles?" ORU coach Scott Sutton said. "The guy, he's on a tear right now like I haven't seen in quite some time shooting the basketball."
Niles hit 11-of-15 field goals, including 5-of-6 shots from 3-point range, and 6-of-6 free throws against Loyola Marymount. He is 31-of-42 from the field and 14-of-18 from the line during ORU's winning streak.
"It seems like everything he throws up is going in," Sutton said. "And he is doing more than just shooting. He is taking the ball more off the dribble and getting to the basket."
Niles has scored 20 or more points in three consecutive games for the first time in his career, and his point total in the Great Alaska Shootout opener was the second-best of his career. He scored 39 points against IUPUI midway through his freshman season.
Next? Niles and the Golden Eagles advance to the tournament semifinals and will face Charlotte or Texas State in a CBS Sports Network-televised game that is scheduled to tip off at approximately 12:30 a.m. Central time Saturday. Charlotte and Texas State met in a first-round game late Thursday night.
ORU reached the semis by hurdling an opponent that posted a 21-13 record and won the fourth-most games in program history last season. Among Loyola Marymount's eight returning lettermen and three returning starters is Anthony Ireland, a junior point guard who was a first-team All-West Coast Conference selection last season.
Ireland, averaging nearly 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists during a six-game stretch dating to last season, scored 30 points at ORU's expense. But he was, of course, overshadowed by Niles, who scored 25 of his team's first 50 points.
Despite Niles' efficiency, ORU did not cruise to victory. Loyola Marymount (2-2) never trailed during the first 16 minutes.
"Great win, especially how we started the game," Sutton said. "The first 15 minutes, I think we set basketball back a few years, especially on the offensive end. We had 11 first-half turnovers and they kind of had us rattled like UTEP did (in a season opener). I thought we settled in the last five or six minutes of the first half and got the ball inside and in the second half I thought we played really well."
ORU took control with a 19-4 run that spilled over into both halves.
Shawn Glover (11 points) and Steven Roundtree (10 points) joined Niles in double figures. Damen Bell-Holter, an Alaska native who wanted to play well in front of friends and family, scored eight points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds.
Original Print Headline: Red-hot Niles spurs ORU win