Tulsa drops opener to ORU

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Obi Emegano scored 19 points and was one of four starters in double figures for Oral Roberts, as they outlasted Tulsa 74-68 in a season opener for both teams Sunday night.
"This was a tough way for us to open up the season," said Tulsa head coach Danny Manning. "ORU came out strong, and they were the aggressors. They did an outstanding job of rebounding the basketball. We didn't match their intensity. You look at the stat sheet and see the rebounding difference. They created a lot of second chance opportunities by going to the glass.
"When you throw free throws on top of that, it is tough to overcome. (ORU Head Coach) Scott (Sutton) had his guys ready to play, and they came out and did what they needed to do to get a win. On the flipside, for us, we know what we need to do better, and that will start tomorrow at practice."
The Golden Eagles, who shot 22-of-57 from the field, held a slim 30-27 advantage at half. They jumped ahead on an 8-0 run midway through the second half, but Tulsa clawed back to tie the game at 56 with 4:24 remaining.
A pair of D'Andre Wright free throws gave the Golden Hurricane a lead, but Oral Roberts responded as Korey Billbury made a layup and hit a jumper.
Emegano hit six free throws in the final minute and Tulsa couldn't close the gap due to an ugly performance at the free throw line. The Hurricane made just 17-of-36 attempts (47-percent) at the charity stripe and missed seven straight during the final minutes.
"It is really sickening. We really strive to make free throws and practice our rebounding," said Tulsa guard Shaquille Harrison. "That is our number one thing to do in practice. Today we didn't get it done. It is really sickening, but we just need to get back in the gym and continue to work on those things."
Shawn Glover scored 16 points for Oral Roberts and Korey Billbury added 13 and eight rebounds.
Rashad Smith led the way with 19 points for Tulsa and had four steals. Shaquille Harrison finished with 18 points.
"We are going to cover quite a few bases tomorrow," said Manning. "I don't know what we will start with, but we will cover a lot of the areas that we were deficient in today."