RTC Live: Oral Roberts at UMKCPosted by Brian Goodman on December 28th, 2011
RTC Live starts its post-holiday week in Kansas City with some early Summit League play, with the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles squaring off against the UMKC Kangaroos tonight.
Game #59. Around the college basketball atmosphere, many scribes have placed an asterisk next to Oral Roberts’ recent win over a brawl-depleted Musketeer squad. While the absences of Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons certainly put Xavier in a bind, Scott Sutton’s crew had no choice in the matter. ORU has played well for most of the season, bringing a 9-4 record into tonight’s road matchup. Oral Roberts’ calling card has been defense, with the Golden Eagles forcing turnovers on a league-leading 24% of possessions and locking down the perimeter with success. Their primary threat on offense is senior and Kansas City native Dominique Morrison. He’s been a model of endurance, playing in over 87% of his team’s minutes, but he’s hardly been a liability, averaging 16.9 points per game. The Golden Eagles face the road-tested ‘Roos, who have already played ten games away from the City of Fountains. Matt Brown’s team is a mediocre 7-7, but they do count Wisconsin, Michigan State and New Mexico among their opposition to date. Reggie Chamberlain and Trinity Hall carry most of the load, with Chamberlain leading the team in scoring at 17.3 points per contest. Brown will need a hot-shooting performance from his team because a lack of capable rebounders will make second chances hard to come by. Tune in tonight as we give you a look at the clear favorite of the Summit League.
Recap: This one was much closer than it should have been, with Oral Roberts escaping, 72-65, with some late free throws, but credit the ‘Roos from coming back down 12 at halftime to cut the lead down to three late before ORU’s size advantage finally got to the thin UMKC rotation. Dominique Morrison was a horse for the Golden Eagles (though that’s hardly new), playing 39 minutes and finishing with 28 points on 7-13 shooting and a banner 13-14 showing from the line. Not to be forgotten is Michael Craion’s excellent 14/16 outing. The Kangaroos started hot from beyond the arc, hitting 6 of their first 11, but went just 4-19 from that point onward. Reggie Chamberlain led Matt Brown’s team with 17 points, while freshman point guard Estan Tyler chipped in an impressive ten points and five assists.