Oral Roberts dominated from start to finish as they put away the Bears of Central Arkansas 94-65 Tuesday night at the Mabee Center. ORU (17-10, 12-3 Southland) finished out its SLC home slate with seven-straight victories, and will finish the home schedule with Weber State on Saturday. Central Arkansas (9-16, 5-11 Southland) dropped its fifth-straight game with the loss.
The Golden Eagles also dominated the boards in a fast-paced game, grabbing 56 rebounds, the most on record since 1989 when they had 70 against LeMoyne-Owen. Turning those into 26 second-chance points, ORU used a balanced attack with six players scoring in double figures for the first time since 2011, including a pair of double-doubles. ORU posted the most points of the season, topping the 91 scored against Lamar.
Steven Roundtree's second double-double of the season, and first since November 24 against Belmont, led the way for the Golden Eagles as he grabbed 13 rebounds and poured in 13 points. Damen Bell-Holter recorded 11thdouble-double of the season and sixth in a row with 10 rebounds and a team-high 17 points. Warren Niles added 16 points while Shawn Glover returned after two games off with 14 points. Korey Billbury had 12 points and Mikey Manghum rounded out the offense with a season-high 11 points, including a 3-of-4 mark from behind the arc. Of the 11 players who saw the court, eight different players had at least three points.
LaQuentin Miles led the Bears with 14 points, while Jordan Harks and Jarvis Garner each added 12. Harks led the way on the boards with six of the Bears' 38 rebounds.
Despite shooting 44 percent and scoring 50 points in the first half, ORU out-did itself in the second half, shooting 56 percent (18-32) in the second frame, leading by as many as 33 with just over five minutes to go.
"We finally, for the most part, put together 40 minutes and it is always fun to be able to play everybody, especially Caleb Tannehill and P.J. Purnell," said Coach Scott Sutton. "I thought Roundtree was close to himself in the second half. He played extremely hard, gave us a lot of energy, rebounded great and finally started finishing some shots. Overall, to have six guys in double figures and two guys have double-doubles, it was a really good team effort."
Unlike the past two games where the scoring has come almost completely from Niles and Bell-Holter, it was baskets from Manghum, Jake Llliteras and Brandon Conley that helped ORU open up a big first half lead.
After giving up the opening basket to the Bears, ORU rattled off 10-straight to go up 10-2 early before UCA answered with a 6-0 run. The Golden Eagles answered right back with another 10-0 streak to make it a 20-8 game, forcing Central Arkansas to call a second timeout less than 10 minutes into the game.
Another 8-0 run, including a pair of Manghum 3-pointers, helped ORU out-score the Bears 20-6 over a period of 5:32 to open up a 16-point lead at 30-14. The lead grew all the way to 25 after Bell-Holter, Manghum and Niles scored six-straight to take the half under a minute with ORU doubling up the Bears, 50-25.
Despite the Bears scoring the final two points of the first half, and the first two of the second half, the lead would not dip below 21 for the remainder of the game as the Golden Eagles cruised to the 29-point victory, the largest of the season against a Division I opponent.
The final home game of the year will be a non-conference contest as ORU hosts Weber State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Mabee Center. The ORU senior duo of Niles and Bell-Holter will be honored immediately following the game.
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