TULSA, OK – League-leading Oral Roberts University posted a 97-64 victory over visiting University of South Dakota Thursday evening in the Mabee Center in Summit League action. With the loss, the Coyotes fell to 7-13 on the year and 2-9 in conference play, while ORU improved to 19-4 and 11-0 in league play.
Senior Charlie Westbrook (Milwaukee, WS) led the way for the Coyotes going 10 of 14 from the field with a team-high six rebounds and game-high 23 points. Sophomore Trevor Gruis (Ellsworth, MN) was the only other Coyote in double figures with 11 points.
The Coyotes shot 45.5 percent from the field on 25 of 55. They were 6 of 18 from beyond the arc and 8 of 13 from the line. They had 26 rebounds with 11 assists and committed a season-high 24 turnovers.
ORU had five players in double figures led by 18 points and 10 rebounds from Michael Craion, while Mikey Manghum and Steven Roundtree had 18 and 17 points off the bench, respectively. The Golden Eagles shot 56.7 percent for the game on 34 of 60. They were 9 of 16 from beyond the arc and 20 of 24 from the line.
The Coyotes held ORU's leading scorer, Dominique Morrison, to 10 points all in the second half. He came into the game averaging 20.3 points per game and had 27 versus the Coyotes in the first meeting this season.
ORU won the battle of the boards 36-26 and held leads in points off turnovers (37-17) and points in the paint (44-24).
Six quick points by the Coyotes on their first four possessions led to a 6-2 lead for South Dakota during the early moments in the contest. Westbrook had two buckets early. Out of the first media time out, a big triple on a hoop-and-harm foul on senior Louie Krogman (White River, SD) gave the Coyotes a 10-6 lead. The Coyotes trailed the entire game in Vermillion Dec. 30 in a 79-67 loss.
Two triples from Manghum tied the game at 12, but Krogman tallied his second triple for a 15-12 lead, with 13:30 remaining in the half. Krogman went 0 for 9 from beyond the arc against Western Illinois last Saturday.
Manghum hit his third triple in the early going giving ORU its first lead at 17:15 with 11:35 remaining in the half and followed with his fourth after the Coyotes had four consecutive turnovers for a 20-15 ORU lead with 11 minutes left.
Westbrook ended the mini-drought for the Coyotes with an outside jumper for 10:15 remaining in the half for a 20-17 deficit. Manghum hit his fifth and sixth triples of the half for a 29-18 ORU lead with eight minutes remaining. The rest of the Golden Eagle team had just 11 points.
The Golden Eagles used a 19-4 run since the 13:30 mark for a 31-18 lead with 7:27 remaining highlighted by the Manghum triples. Krogman hit a jumper out of the media timeout for a 31-20 deficit moments later.
A triple by Nick Mabbutt (Milton Kynes, England) brought the Coyotes within 14 at 37-23 out of the timeout. It was Mabbutt's first field goal and first action since the Peru State game on Dec. 21. Mabbutt then had a nice block on the other end for his third career block as a Coyote.
The Golden Eagles caught fire in the final 11 minutes of the half and ended with a 34-16 run since the 11:25 mark as they led 51-31 at intermission.
The Coyotes were led by Krogman with nine points, while Westbrook added eight and Gruis had seven. South Dakota shot 12 of 26 from the field for 46.2 percent. The Coyotes were 3 of 8 from beyond the arc and 4 of 6 from the line.
ORU was led by 18 points from Manghum as the only player in double figures. He was 6 of 7 from the field and a perfect 6 of 6 from beyond the arc. Michael Craion was 4 of 5 from the field for 8 points. ORU shot 56.7 percent for the half on 17 of 30. They were 7 of 11 from beyond the arc and 10 for 10 from the line.
Both teams had 14 rebounds, but the main difference in the half was points off turnovers as ORU led 23-10 and points in the paint (20-10) as the Coyotes committed 15 miscues, while the Golden Eagles had nine.
The Golden Grizzlies opened the second half with a 7-0 run as Gruis got the Coyotes on the board with a turnaround jumper in the lane and Westbrook followed with a layup for a 58-35 score with 16:12 left.
A layup by Morrison with 12:30 remaining was his first made field goal of the night (1-3) and a 67-42 lead for the Golden Eagles.
The Coyotes continued to fight as Westbrook found junior Jordan Boots (Vermillion) in the corner for a triple cutting the deficit to 88-55 with four minutes left. Boots hit his second triple out of the final media timeout bringing the Coyotes within 88-60.
The Coyotes will look to rebound Saturday at Southern Utah, prior to returning home for six of the final seven games in the DakotaDome.