Texas-San Antonio (1-0) vs. Oral Roberts (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 15th, 10:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma. Television: None. Home Record: UTSA 0-0, ORU 0-0. Away Record: UTSA 1-0, ORU 0-1. Neutral Record: UTSA 0-0, ORU 0-0. Conference Record: UTSA 0-0, ORU 0-0. Series Record: Oral Roberts leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners and the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles will meet tonight as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off from Stillwater, Oklahoma.
A member of the Southland Conference, Texas-San Antonio opened its season on Friday with a 73-64 victory over UTEP on the road. With 12 letterwinners, including four starters, returning from the defending Southland championship team, Roadrunners' head coach Brooks Thompson has plenty of reasons to be excited about the 2011-12 season. Last year's squad was the first in the last 19 years to post 20 wins for the school, and 74 percent of the scoring and 79 percent of the rebounding from that club is back in place.
The Golden Eagles opened their season on Friday against West Virginia of the Big East Conference on the road, and the result was a competitive 78-71 defeat. ORU, which finished second in the Summit League last season with a 13-5 record, is seeking its first conference title since 2007-08. The Golden Eagles return five starters and eight letterwinners from last season, and five players from the roster appear on the Preseason All-Summit League First or Second Team.
Oral Roberts has won both previous meetings with UTSA, both of which took place in 1995.
Melvin Johnson drilled 80 shots from behind the arc last season for Texas-San Antonio en route to 14.9 ppg. He scored 25 points in the first half of a game, proof of his explosiveness. As for Jeromie Hill, he posted 13.4 ppg and 6.6 rpg in his first season for the Roadrunners and is expected to be even better in 2011-12. In the season-opening victory over UTEP, both players were quiet, as Hill had nine points and Johnson a mere seven. Fortunately, teammates Alex Vouyoukas and Michael Hale III both scored 12 points to pick up the slack. The third and final double-digit scorer for the club was Sei Paye with 10 points off the bench. The Roadrunners connected on 50 percent of their field goal attempts in the victory, including a 7-of-14 effort from three-point range, and they forced 21 turnovers as well.
Dominique Morrison is the top returning player for Oral Roberts, as he averaged 19.5 ppg on 51.4 percent shooting from the field last year, including 40.4 percent from three-point range. In Friday's opener against West Virginia, Morrison managed to post 21 points despite a lackluster 5-of-17 shooting effort from the field. He knocked down 11-of-13 free throws and dished out five assists. Michael Craion posted 18 points, nine rebounds and six steals, while Warren Niles tallied 14 points. The fourth and final double-digit scorer for ORU in defeat was Steven Roundtree with 11 points, and he also pulled down 10 rebounds. The Golden Eagles turned the ball over 22 times and allowed WVU to shoot 58.8 percent from the field, the two most obvious reason for the setback. ORU lost despite a 37-24 rebounding advantage.
Expect Oral Roberts to even its record with a hard-fought victory tonight. It wouldn't be at all surprising if both the Roadrunners and Golden Eagles are NCAA Tournament teams this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oral Roberts 79, Texas-San Antonio 74
11/15 10:33:10 ET