Jacks Fall to ORU, Squeak by T-Birds

Sports Staff

Oral Roberts staked its claim to the number one spot in the Summit League in a battle between conference unbeatens, rolling over the Jacks in the second half en route to a 97-75 victory in Tulsa on Jan. 7.

In a battle of two of the conference’s best players, ORU’s Dominique Morrison scored 38 points against the Jackrabbits. Nate Wolters scored 22 points and the Jacks had four other players in double-digits but ORU ended the game shooting 60 percent, tallying a season-high for points allowed against SDSU.

“The problem was on the defensive end and we just didn’t play very well on the defensive. [ORU] has really great players that are playing at a high level,” SDSU head coach Scott Nagy said.

Defense was not the only problem, with the Jacks behind the Golden Eagles in nearly every statistical category at the night’s end.

“We went back to how we were playing last year and tried to outscore them,” Nagy said.

SDSU led by eight points early in the game and ORU wiped that advantage away with a A 21-4 run by ORU in the thick of the second half put the game on ice for the Golden Eagles and snapping the Jackrabbits back to reality after being at the top of the conference.

“It was a bad loss for us, so we’re just looking for another conference win against USD,” Chad White said.

SDSU 75, Southern Utah 68

Meeting the classic requirements for a trap game for SDSU, Southern Utah gave the Jackrabbits all they could handle.

The Jacks survived the trip to Cedar City, Utah, leaving with a 75-68 win and moving to 5-0 on Jan. 5 before heading to Oral Roberts for a first place showdown.

In what has become the norm over the last few months, Nate Wolters reached double-digits for the (sixth) straight game, scoring 28 points and half of those points came from the free throw line. That performance arrived on a night where he did not play well according to his coach.

“This is maybe one of our best wins and we just didn’t have a lot of energy all night and we didn’t shoot well,” Nagy said.

The trip is known as one of the most difficult in the Summit League, forcing most teams to fly into Las Vegas and drive north nearly three hours before reaching SUU. Altitude was also in play at 5,800 feet.

“We didn’t have our legs tonight and I think that the altitude did affect us,” Nagy said.

SDSU took the lead for good midway through the second half, finally taking control. After trailing by one point at halftime, the Jackrabbits rallied from a halftime deficit to a win for the fourth time this season.

Jackson Stevenett led the Thunderbirds with 25 points and Matt Massey helped with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Southern Utah will leave the Summit League for the Big Sky Conference at the end of the year.

“I thought we played a lot better down the stretch. We made a few shots and we got stops when we needed them,” Wolters said.