DU (13-14) tied the game on a Marcus Byrd 3-point shot with 1:15 remaining but Oral Roberts University (14-14) capitalized on free throws and shots from the low block in the closing minutes to escape with a 62-58 win over DU in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Yet again, DU played close enough to win, especially in the second half, but could not get it done in the final minutes.
DU seems to take nearly every game to wire this season and this game was no exception.
In the first half, ORU came out fast on 50% shooting and were up 17-9 at 10 minutes of the first half. The Golden Eagles moved out to a 20-13 lead with half their points coming on early DU turnovers. The Pioneers responded and reduced the margin to three points, 23-28, after a Marcus Byrd free throws. ORU built on their margin the final three minutes and DU trailed 23-32 at half with DU shooting 30.8% (to 40%/ORU).
ORU came out strong after the halftime break and surged to a 10-point lead at 16:50. Then, DU narrowed the margin to four, 39-43, with 10:00 to go. A Joe Rosga drive at 7:30 pulled the Pioneers to within two, 45-47. DU took their first lead at 7:03 with a 3-point bomb from Thomas Neff, 48-47, and held that same score and margin until the 5:00 minute mark – holding ORU scoreless for over 4:00 minutes. DU fell behind again but a C.J. Bobbitt bucket gave DU the outright lead again, 50-49. ORU went on another run, triggered by a 3-point drive and foul when ORU’s Brandon Conley was fouled by Jake Pemberton, to take a 54-50 ORU advantage. After several possessions, DU came back on another Marcus Byrd 3-point tray at 1:27 to tie the game. ORU countered once again, working the ball inside, and built a 4 point lead. DU responded when Joe Rosga drive brought DU within two – 58-60 with 3 seconds to go. ORU, with the help of 4-4 free throw shooting from Obi Emegano, extended their final advantage to 62-58 with 3.2 seconds remaining. DU ran out of time to close the gap. Final score 62-58 ORU
For the game, DU shot 43.8% from the field to 39.6% for the Golden Eagles. DU was out-rebounded 25-33 but led in points in the paint (32-18) and turnovers (11-14). Marcus Byrd had 15 points and 8 rebounds and Joe Rosga had 15 points. For the Golden Eagles, Obi Emegano had 26 points and 8 rebounds and Albert Owens chipped in with 15 points and 8 rebounds.
DU drops below 500 for their first time since their game-one loss to Milwaukee to start the season.