HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Oral Roberts did not lead in the final nine minutes of regulation, but tied the game in the final five seconds, forcing overtime where the Golden Eagles led the entire extra period to notch a 65-61 victory over Sam Houston State on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Coliseum.
It was the first overtime game for ORU since beating IUPUI 76-74 in overtime at the Mabee Center on Feb. 9, 2012. ORU (10-8, 5-1), stands alone in second place in the Southland Conference with the victory, dropping Sam Houston to 11-7, 4-2.
"I've talked a lot about toughness and I thought the last two minutes of regulation and the overtime period our guys out-toughed them," said Coach Scott Sutton. "It doesn't matter how you get them as long as you get a "W" on the road. Huge, huge win today."
In addition to getting 26 points at the free throw line, shooting 83 percent (26-31), ORU was aided by a career night from Korey Billbury, who had 16 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Billbury also had a new career high with his team high eight rebounds.
"I thought it was the best Korey has played since exhibition season," said Sutton. "I thought tonight he was very aggressive and very confident on the offensive end, which we needed."
It wasn't all Billbury though, as ORU posted the most balanced offensive outing of the season with four players in double figures. Shawn Glover and Warren Niles led the way with 17 each, while Damen Bell-Holter had 13 points.
The Bearkats got 11 points from Marquel McKinney on a 4-4 shooting effort, and 10 from Darius Gaston, but all 11 players who saw action scored at least a point.
Most team stats favored Sam Houston as they had 18 more shots, made five more 3-pointers and held a 41-32 advantage on the glass. Despite having two more turnovers, ORU did have a 16-10 advantage in points off turnovers, and a 17-point advantage from the free throw line thanks to the 83 percent effort, as opposed to SHSU's 47.4 percent mark from the charity stripe.