Kory Billbury sparks ORU past Lamar
BY Staff Reports
Sunday, March 03, 2013
3/03/13 at 6:49 AM
BEAUMONT, Texas - Korey Billbury produced his first career double-double Saturday night, establishing new career-bests in points and rebounds to spark Oral Roberts out of the doldrums and into the winner's circle.
Billbury collected 17 points, 13 rebounds and his third-most assists (six) in a game as ORU pulled away late to defeat Lamar 68-50 at Montagne Center. The victory spoiled the Cardinals' senior night and allowed the Golden Eagles, who never trailed, to take a step in the right direction after a shocking loss Thursday at McNeese State.
Coach Scott Sutton said his team played "a little bit better" and said Billbury was great.
"He was aggressive. He was confident. I thought he played under control," said Sutton when discussing the redshirt freshman guard from Booker T. Washington.
"Korey has some of those intangibles that we have talked about that I think this team lacks. He needs to be a little bit more consistent. He needs to continue to learn the game. But he does a lot of great things. He plays hard, he plays with energy, he plays with passion and those things are hard to teach. Some of our guys certainly could learn from that."
Billbury was one of three ORU players to score at least 17 points and one of two Golden Eagles to generate a double-double at the expense of the last-place Cardinals, who dropped to 3-26 overall and 1-15 in league play.
Shawn Glover scored a game-high 19 points, Warren Niles added 17 and Damen Bell-Holter produced 10 points and 13 rebounds as ORU improved to 18-12 overall and 13-4 in conference games.
Two days earlier, ORU wasted an 11-point second-half lead against McNeese State. The Golden Eagles led Lamar by only six points midway through the second half, but outscored the Cardinals 27-15 in the last nine minutes.
ORU surrendered its fewest points ever in a Southland game, but settling for a split on the road trip virtually assures that the Golden Eagles will not finish in the top two of the league standings or earn a bye into the semifinal round of the Southland Tournament.
Stephen F. Austin is atop the standings with a 14-2 record after a Saturday homecourt victory over second-place Northwestern State, which dropped to 13-3. Both teams own tiebreakers over ORU, which could earn the No. 2 seed with a combination of a road victory over Central Arkansas and if Northwestern State goes 0-2 at home this week against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Southland's ninth-place team, and Sam Houston State, which is tied for fourth.
Lamar will not participate in the Southland Tournament. Only eight of the league's 10 teams advance to the postseason tournament and the Cardinals were eliminated from contention when they lost a double-overtime home game Thursday to Central Arkansas. Lamar won the Southland Conference Tournament last season to earn an NCAA Tournament trip.
Original Print Headline: Billbury sparks Golden Eagles