Runaway victory: ORU pummels Central Arkansas
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
2/20/13 at 11:18 AM
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Oral Roberts made it look easy in a Southland Conference homecourt finale against Central Arkansas, rolling to a 94-65 victory Tuesday night and giving coach Scott Sutton the kind of put-somebody-away victory that he has been seeking for much of the season.
Perhaps the Golden Eagles found a killer instinct just in time for an ESPN BracketBusters home game Saturday against Weber State and a season-closing conference road swing.
Sutton said his team has had a bunch of games - and lost some games - where players lost their focus and stopped playing like they did when they were busy building leads.
"He's been really, really on that (subject) for like the past, I think, four games just to close out and finish," redshirt freshman guard Korey Billbury said. "So that's what we tried to do tonight."
ORU (17-10 overall, 12-3) rampaged to its most lopsided Southland victory ever and its most lopsided triumph over a Division I opponent this season. By game's end, the Golden Eagles had six players in double figures (Damen Bell-Holter and Steven Roundtree produced double-doubles) and 35 bench points, most against a D-I opponent this season.
"Much better," Sutton said. "We, for the most part, put together 40 minutes and it's always fun to be able to play everybody."
Central Arkansas (9-16, 4-11) is coached by former Arkansas All-American Corliss Williamson. His Bears use a run-and-press system that has its roots in Nolan Richardson's "40 Minutes of Hell." But the game got out of hand after "Three Minutes of Mikey."
Reserve guard Mikey Manghum cashed three 3-pointers in just over a three-minute span of the first half. The bombs came during an 18-3 run that gave ORU a 17-point lead with 9:36 remaining before halftime.
"Coach is always telling me when I am open to jump up and shoot it with confidence," Manghum, who scored a season-high 11 points, said. "And the past couple of days actually my shot has not been going in, so it was nice to see that first one go in and from there I just had the confidence to knock down the other two."
The Golden Eagles led 50-27 at halftime and got challenged by their coach. Sutton wanted to see 20 more good minutes and he warned players that anybody who didn't play hard or defend would be replaced by someone willing to do those things.
Said Sutton, "I thought for the most part all of the guys played pretty hard and stayed pretty focused."
ORU stretched the lead to as many as 33 points in the second half. The Golden Eagles finally left an opponent in the dust instead of creating unnecessary drama.
"That's one game," Sutton said. "We will see how we play Saturday night and from here on out. But it was a good start."
|Stephen F. Austin||12||2|
BY THE NUMBERS
ORU’s advantage in
points in the paint
ORU’s first-half run
to extend its lead
from 2 to 17 points.
advantage over the
ORU up next:
BracketBusters vs. Weber State
7:30 p.m. Saturday
Radio: KYAL fm97.1
Original Print Headline: Runaway victory
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Oral Roberts guard Korey Billbury (left) breaks away from Central Arkansas' Ryan Williams during Tuesday night's Southland Conference game at the Mabee Center. Billbury finished with 12 points, one of five Golden Eagles in double figures. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World
ORU's Jake Lliteras heads for the basket Tuesday. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World