Sharp-shooting Eagles down Jacks

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

Coming on the heels of a Summit League opening win against Centenary, the SDSU men’s basketball team was defeated by Oral Roberts 85-76 Dec. 6 at Frost Arena.

SDSU never held the lead in the game due in large part to 57 percent shooting from Oral Roberts, their best performance since March of 2006.

The Jacks also shot the ball well, connecting on 52.5 percent of their shots.

Jacks head coach Scott Nagy puts more blame on his team’s lack of defense instead of how effective Oral Roberts was.

“I wouldn’t say that Oral Roberts was a great offensive team before they came here, but we turned them into one tonight,” said Nagy. “We were tight, and when you’re tight, you don’t move like you usually move. We didn’t defend close to the way we are capable of.”

Oral Roberts’ 11th-year head coach, Scott Sutton, credits the Golden Eagles’ domination on the glass for their great shooting night.

“We got good looks, and we did a nice job of getting guys in position to make shots,” said Sutton. “I thought that we got a lot of easy baskets off of offensive rebounds.”

The Golden Eagles dominated on the glass out-rebounding SDSU 36-22.

“That’s an area that we have really struggled with because of our lack of depth and size up front,” Sutton said.

“Four offensive rebounds for us is probably the lowest we have had since I’ve been coaching here in 13 and-a-half years,” Nagy said. “That just isn’t good enough, and the players know it. I think it is indicative of how we were tonight. We were a step slow, a step behind on everything.”

ORU guard Kyron Stokes had a game-high nine rebounds, with four coming on the offensive end.

Even though the Jacks lost by nine, it was an improvement over last season’s meetings with the Golden Eagles when SDSU lost twice by a combined 44 points.

“I think that the biggest difference is that their guys are older,” Sutton said. “Last year, they had a young team, and they still are young, but I think that SDSU is going to be dangerous the rest of the year. They have a good nucleus of kids that are going to make SDSU really good in the future.”

ORU’s Robert Jarvis led all scorers with 23 points, while Garrett Callahan led SDSU with 18 points and was one of four Jackrabbits in double figures. Redshirt freshman forward Josh Cassaday added a career-high 14 points.

The Jacks go up against the 8-0 University of Minnesota at Williams Arena on Dec. 10 with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. The Golden Gophers lead the all-time series 10-0, winning last season 78-72. SDSU will return to Frost Arena on Dec. 16 to take on Cal State-Bakersfield.