Slow Start to Second Half Sinks Golden Eagles, 69-56

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A cold start to the second half helped doom Oral Roberts in a 69-56 setback to Miami (Fla.) in the opening game of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, Tuesday at South Point Casino Resort.

The Golden Eagles missed their first nine shots of the second half and shot just 32 percent in the half overall while allowing Miami (Fla.) to shoot 56.5 percent over the final 20 minutes en route to ORU’s third straight loss.

After taking a 33-28 lead into the locker room at halftime, the Golden Eagles (4-7) went cold to start the second half just as Miami (8-3) got hot. The Hurricanes opened the half with a 15-3 run, taking a 43-36 lead on a Malcolm Grant jumper with 12:44 remaining.

Miami built its lead to 47-38 but ORU slowly chipped away. Consecutive jumpers by Steven Roundtree (Jacksonville, Fla.) and a three-point play by Dominique Morrison (Kansas City, Mo.) pulled the Golden Eagles to within 51-49 with 5:08 remaining.

But that was a close as ORU would get. The Golden Eagles got to within three points two more times, the last coming when a pair of free throws by Morrison made it a 56-53 game with 3:45 left. Miami responded by scoring on its next four possessions, grabbing its first double-digit lead when a Garrius Adams three-pointer made it 65-55 with 1:10 to go.

The Golden Eagles controlled play in the first half thanks to a monster effort from Damen Bell-Holter (Hydaburg, Alaska). The sophomore center scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first 20 minutes to help ORU to a five point lead at the break.

Overall, ORU shot just 35.3 percent from the field, including just 3-of-15 from 3-point range. Miami finished the game shooting 52.4 percent.

Both teams shot well from the free throw line. The Golden Eagles were 17-of-23 from the line (73.9 percent), while Miami was 22-of-27 (81.5 percent). Miami out-rebounded 

Morrison led all scorers with 20 points, adding four rebounds and two steals. Bell-Holter finished with 16 points and nine boards.

Miami was led by Grant’s 15 points.

The Golden Eagles next face UALR, 6:15 p.m. CST on Wednesday.

Updated 12-22-2010

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