Preseason Favorite ORU Downs Gents in Tulsa 74-53
Thursday, January 26, 2006

Files associated with this release:
CC-ORU1 Box Score 1-26-06

Alexander Starr

Xavier Burnette

Larry Logan

TULSA, Okla.—The hard play of Larry Owens coupled with timely three-point shooting by Moses Ehambe carried Oral Roberts to a 74-53 Mid-Continent Conference win over the Centenary Gents Thursday evening in Tulsa, Okla. The win for the preseason league favorites ended any question of a possible slump after falling unexpectedly to Western Illinois on Tuesday. For the Gents, the loss was the first by more than 15 points in conference play this season.


In a rough first half of play that saw very few fouls called, the Gents overcame the disadvantage in the early going to claim a surprising lead over ORU. After the Golden Eagles put up the first four points of the game, Centenary responded with three driving baskets by Xavier Burnette and a dunk on a back-door cut by Alexander Starr to jump out to an eight-point advantage at 14-6.


Oral Roberts (11-9, 6-2 Mid-Con) answered with back-to-back buckets by Larry Owens and a pair of three-pointers by Moses Ehambe to grab a slight edge at 16-14. Jason Underwood’s put-back off of a miss finally ended the 10-0 ORU run. The lead then changed hands several times before Centenary made the score 24-21 in their favor on a Chris Watson jumper in the paint with 7:30 left in the half. However, Owens took over control of the game and guided the Golden Eagles into the lockerroom on a 13-0 run and on top of the Gents 34-24. Centenary did not score in the first period after Watson’s jumper.


Rarely enough with all the physical play, neither team shot a free throw in the first stanza and the home Golden Eagles were not called for their second foul of the first 20 minutes of action until the 1:17 mark of the first half.


The Gents (4-15, 2-6 Mid-Con) were only in the game for a short time in the second half as Starr hit a trifecta coming out of the gate and minutes later Clarke Jackson drained his long distance attempt to bring the contest within five at 37-32. A dunk by Owens provided some breathing room for ORU just seconds ahead of the play that seemingly deflated Centenary.


With a two-on-one fastbreak Green went up for an attempt at an emphatic dunk for ORU when Starr challenged the play. Both players collided as Starr clearly went for the ball, but Green landed hard on the floor. The nearest referee whistled an intentional foul on Starr, which gave the Golden Eagles two free throws and possession of the ball. Green made good on both charity attempts and Ehambe connected on his three-point shot to give ORU the five-point possession and pushed the home team advantage to 12 at 44-32.


Centenary would never climb closer than eight points the rest of the way and Oral Roberts biggest lead would stretch to as large as 21.


The Gents held Green, the preseason Mid-Con Player of the Year, in check throughout the evening as the 6’8” forward finished with only 14 points and three rebounds after coming in averaging 21.1 ppg and 9.1 rpg. However, Centenary had no answer for Owens who pumped in 19 points to go with nine boards. Oral Roberts also received a significant contribution from Ehambe who finished with 14 points on 4-of-9 from behind the arc.


Starr scored 15 points to pace Centenary in the loss while Burnette added 11 points. Larry Logan pulled down eight boards to lead the Gents and Watson added seven points and seven carems.


Centenary will travel overnight back to Shreveport before hosting UMKC in the Gold Dome on Saturday at 7 p.m. as the nightcap of a doubleheader with the Ladies. The Ladies welcome UMKC with that game tipping off at 4:30 p.m.