ORU notebook: Special night
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 2:50 AM
The No. 42 jersey of former Oral Roberts University All-American Mark Acres was retired at halftime of a Thursday night game against Lamar.
"Thank you, Tulsa. It's great to be back," said Acres, who called it a fabulous honor for himself and his family.
Acres, the only player in program history to lead the team in scoring and rebounding four consecutive seasons, helped ORU to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1984. He recalled memorable games during the halftime ceremony and said his time in Tulsa provided him with good times and great memories.
"This is a special place for me and always will be the rest of my life," he said.
Acres said his father would have loved every minute of seeing the ceremony. Dick Acres, a former ORU coach, died in June.
Mark Acres became the third ORU men's basketball player to have his jersey retired, joining Anthony Roberts and Richard Fuqua.
Krista (Ragan) Binam, an ORU women's assistant coach and former Golden Eagle player, is the only female basketball player to have her jersey retired.
Family tie: ORU senior guard Warren Niles cracked the 30-point barrier for the fourth time in his career, hitting 5-of-11 shots from 3-point range en route to 33 points.
Niles moved past Jeff Acres into ninth place on the career field goals list at ORU. Jeff Acres is the brother of Mark Acres.
Out of character: Before Thursday, Lamar had made just six 3-point baskets in conference play. The Cardinals matched that by going 6-of-13 on 3-point attempts against ORU. Freshman guard Keilan Blanks was 4-of-5 and scored a season-high 25 points.
Continued growth: Though coach Scott Sutton was displeased with ORU's defense (specifically an inability to stop Lamar's guards from penetrating), he saw another step in the progression of redshirt freshman guard Korey Billbury, whose 10 assists were the most by an ORU player this season.
"That was the third game in a row where Korey has really taken a step forward," Sutton said.
Familiar face: Lamar assistant coach Kermit Holmes is a former University of Oklahoma player from Okmulgee.