BROOKINGS, S.D.-Warren Niles (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored 25 points and Oral Roberts shot a school-record 82.4 percent from three-point range in a 90-82 Summit League victory over South Dakota State, Saturday at Frost Arena. The win snapped ORU’s four-game losing streak.
The Golden Eagles (6-12, 3-3) broke a nearly four-year old record by hitting 14 of 17 shots from beyond the three-point arc, part of a season-best 65.4 percent shooting effort overall.
Niles was 8-of-10 from the field, including a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point range. The sophomore guard came up big down the stretch, making back-to-back treys and a pair of free throws in the final 1:47 to help keep the Jackrabbits (13-5, 2-2) at bay.
ORU controlled play for much of the first half, trailing only five times before halftime and never by more than two points. After a Clint Sargent three-pointer gave the Jacks a 21-19 lead with 11:24 left in the half, the Golden Eagles closed the half by out-scoring SDSU 23-15. Roderick Pearson(Kansas City, Mo.), who scored an ORU career-high 14 points, hit a trey with nine seconds left for a 42-36 lead at the break.
The three-point barrage continued in the second half, with the Golden Eagles making 10-of-11 shots from deep. A three by Pearson, layups by Niles and Ken Holdman (Tulsa, Okla.) and another trey by Niles gave ORU a 52-42 lead with 16:40 to play.
ORU pushed the lead to as many as 13 three different times, the last coming when a Pearson three-pointer gave the Golden Eagles a 65-52 advantage with 11:20 remaining. But South Dakota State slowly came back and eventually pulled to within 70-64 on a Tony Fiegen jumper with 5:48 left.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Holdman made it 76-64 with 4:30 to go, but the Jacks didn’t go away. Sargent and Griffin Callahan hit consecutive three’s to pull the Jacks within 78-76 with 2:48 left, but Niles and the Golden Eagles made enough baskets down the stretch to pull out the win.
Holdman scored a career-high 18 points, hitting 4-of-7 from three-point range, and adding five assists, three rebounds and two steals. Steven Roundtree (Jacksonville, Fla.) had 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Pearson added six boards, three assists and three steals to his scoring output.
SDSU’s Nate Wolters scored a game-high 32 points, while Sargent added 20.
ORU won despite 19 turnovers and just 10 free throw attempts. The Jacks shot 49 percent for the game, but went 11-of-21 from the line. The Golden Eagles out-rebounded SDSU, 35-22.