Oral Roberts (5-3) at (11) Wichita State (8-0)
Saturday, December 7, 8 p.m. (ET)
The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles Koch Arena (10,300) -- Wichita, Kansas. Television: Local. Home Record: ORU 2-0, WSU 4-0. Away Record: ORU 1-3, WSU 2-0. Neutral Record: ORU 2-0, WSU 2-0. Conference Record: ORU 0-0, WSU 0-0. Series Record: Wichita State leads, 5-4.
GAME NOTES: Wichita State tries to remain undefeated, as the 11th-ranked Shockers clash with the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in non-conference play at Koch Arena.
The Shockers have produced an unblemished record after eight games, splitting those victories between Wichita and the road. The team last played six days ago at Saint Louis where it captured a 70-65 win. The victory was the first for WSU that was by single digits this season.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles are currently enjoying a three-game win streak thanks to victories over George Washington (67-65), Bowling Green (63-56) and lesser-known Cameron on Tuesday night by a score of 74-64. ORU is just 1-3 in true road tests this season.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools, the Shockers are ahead by a slim 5-4 margin. However, ORU has posted three straight wins over Wichita State, with the most recent victory for the Golden Eagles being a 76-73 decision in this same building back in 2003.
Against Cameron, a Division II program, the Golden Eagles were led by Shawn Glover who tallied 15 points, while Jorden Kaufman and Korey Billbury accounted for 11 points apiece, the former coming up with eight rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench as well. Registering a double-double was Drew Wilson with 10 points and 10 boards in only 18 minutes as he converted all but one of his six field goal chances for a unit that held the visitors to just 38.7 percent shooting from the field and 3-of-15 beyond the arc.
Glover has been the leading scorer in each of the last five games for the Golden Eagles, resulting in his 20.4 ppg. Right behind Glover on the list is Obi Emegano with his 19.0 ppg, based on his 65.6 percent accuracy from the field, but Emegano has appeared in just half of the team's eight games. Billbury (11.6 ppg) is responsible for a team-best 6.6 rpg, helping to provide the squad with a rebounding edge of close to three per game.
The Shockers held Saint Louis to just 39.6 percent shooting from the floor and 5-of-19 beyond the arc, but Wichita State nearly let that effort go to waste as the team turned the ball over 18 times in a game that experienced six ties and 11 lead changes. Ron Baker led all five starters in double figures with 22 points, followed by Chadrack Lufile and Cleanthony Early with 12 points apiece. Fred VanVleet and Tekele Cotton chipped in with 10 points each, the latter also clearing 10 boards.
Baker, who has at least held a share of the scoring lead for the Shockers for four straight games, accounts for 16.1 ppg as a 53.9 percent shooter from the floor. Early, who leads the group on the glass with 6.8 rpg and is second in scoring with 14.1 ppg, does have his flaws because he is just 25.7 percent accurate from the floor and has turned the ball over 19 times, against just 10 assists. Defensively, the team is limiting the foes to 60.6 ppg on 38.7 percent from the floor and 27.2 percent beyond the arc.
Outscoring opponents by almost 19 points per game, the Shockers were brought back to reality the last time out, but chances are they'll be able to return to prominence against Oral Roberts at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wichita State 77, Oral Roberts 62
12/07 10:35:09 ET