Scott Sutton and ORU get a much-needed victory
BY Staff Reports
Friday, January 04, 2013
1/04/13 at 4:09 AM
HAMMOND, La. - Damen Bell-Holter produced a monster game (career-high 35 points, 14 rebounds) and good medicine as Oral Roberts began the Southland Conference era with an 86-72 victory Thursday night at Southeastern Louisiana.
Here's why it was good medicine: Patsy Sutton, the mother of ORU head coach Scott Sutton and assistant coach Sean Sutton, has been hospitalized since suffering a stroke on Dec. 28. Sean Sutton stayed with his family and Scott Sutton flew to New Orleans on game day to join his players in Hammond, La.
After the game, Scott Sutton said he told his team he appreciated the win.
"We needed that," he said. "I needed that. It meant a lot."
The Golden Eagles, in their first year of Southland Conference play, took heavy hearts and a shorthanded bench on their first Southland road trip.
ORU's second-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer, Steven Roundtree, was injured in practice before a game at Memphis and missed a second consecutive game.
But the Golden Eagles (6-7 overall, 1-0 Southland) rampaged past the Lions (2-9, 0-1) because of a sizzling first half and because Bell-Holter put his team on his back in the second half.
ORU hit 9-of-10 shots from 3-point range in the first half and scored 54 points. Bell-Holter, whose previous career-high was 27 points, scored 25 points after halftime to establish a new career-high.
"That was one of the best performances we have had in a long time," Scott Sutton said after Bell-Holter registered the highest point total ever by an opponent in Southeastern Louisiana's arena.
Bell-Holter scored all but seven of ORU's second-half points. Warren Niles scored all 18 of his points in the first half and Shawn Glover scored 12 of his 13 points in the first half.
ORU led by as many as 25 points before letting Southeastern Louisiana get within 10 late in the second half.
The Golden Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak and gave Scott Sutton a win in a league opener for the 11th time in 14 seasons, including the last four seasons.
Because Scott Sutton has been with family, for the first in his career he coached in a game without seeing the opponent on film.
"Thankfully I have a very supporting and strong and capable staff that has been able to handle a lot of responsibilties," he said. "Sean and I have been away and I certainly appreciate them and (athletic director) Mike Carter and all the support that he has given us."
In interviews with ORU radio broadcaster Geoff Haxton before and after the game, Scott Sutton thanked those who have been there for the Suttons during a time of need.
"It has been a difficult last several days, but I know I speak for all of my family that we really appreciate all the support and love and concern and, most importantly, all the prayers that have gone toward my mom and toward us," he said.
"We are hoping for a miracle. We know that God can heal and that's what we are hoping and praying for."
Original Print Headline: Sutton and ORU get a needed victory
At Nicholls State
4 p.m. Saturday