TULSA — Steven Roundtree and Damen Bell-Holter combined for 32 points and 24 rebounds to lead Oral Roberts to a regular-season ending 69-57 win over Summit League foe Western Illinois, Saturday at Mabee Center.
Both Roundtree and Bell-Holter recorded double-doubles as ORU (17-14 overall, 13-5 Summit) won its eighth consecutive game. The victory also guaranteed the Golden Eagles their 10th straight winning season.
The Golden Eagles got off to a sluggish start against the methodical Leathernecks (7-22, 2-16), missing their first six shots of the game. But ORU never trailed by more than a basket, and took the lead for good when a Warren Niles three-pointer made it 18-15 with 6:33 left in the first half.
Niles' basket sparked a 12-0 run which culminated when Roundtree sank a pair of free throws for a 27-15 advantage with 1:26 before halftime. ORU led 29-19 at the break.
After shooting just 33 percent in the first half, ORU showed more offensive prowess in the final 20 minutes. The Golden Eagles shot 47 percent after halftime and maintained a double-digit lead through the second half.
Western pulled to within 47-34 on a pair of free throws by Matt Lander with 11:14 left, and ORU responded by scoring six straight points. Roundtree hit a layup, Dominique Morrison converted a pair of free throws, and Bell-Holter hit a baseline jumper and ORU led 53-34 with 9:31 to play.
A three-point play by Roundtree with 7:57 left gave the Golden Eagles their first 20-point lead at 56-36, and the lead eventually swelled to as many as 26 points when Roundtree made two more free throws for a 62-36 advantage with 5:53 remaining.
ORU shot just 40.4 percent from the field, its lowest percentage in the last 11 games. But the Golden Eagles made up for it by hitting 20-of-24 from the free throw line and out-rebounding the Leathernecks, 42-26.
Roundtree finished 5-of-10 from the field and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. Bell-Holter was 5-of-9 from the field and made all three of his free throws. Morrison chipped in 13 points despite a 3-of-9 effort from the field.
Up next for the Golden Eagles is the Summit League Tournament, which begins play on Saturday, March 5 in Sioux Falls, S.D. ORU, the tournament's No. 2 seed, will face either North Dakota State or Southern Utah. The tournament runs through March 8.
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