Published January 08, 2015
In a mid-week showdown for the teams, the Centenary Gentlemen travel to Tulsa to take on the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at the Mabee Center tonight at 8pm ET on FCS Central. While the Gents' look to finish the season on a high note, the Golden Eagles look to reach the NCAA tournament, which they have been in three of the last four years.
Centenary (8-18, 3-12 Summit) which finishes the season on a three-game road trip starting tonight against ORU, is led by Sophomore David Perez who leads Centenary in scoring, 3-point FG percentage and free throw percentage with 15.4 ppg, .396 % and .845 % respectively. Perez has had eight 20-point games (5th best in the Summit Conference) while also placing third in the Conference in 3-point FG made, making 2.3 per game. Freshman Damian Starring is second on the team in scoring; averaging 11.6 ppg while also leading the team in 42 steals on the season, good for 1.6 per game.
Offensively the Gents are scoring 71.7 ppg, which is 4th best in the conference. However Centenary is 0-12 on the season when it scores less than 70 points in a game. They lead the conference in free throw percentage (.742), 3-point FG made (8 per game), 2nd in steals per game (7.9), and 2nd in turnover margin with a +1.3 margin. Centenary, which has lost nine of its last 11 games, is 3-9 on the road and looks to end its two game losing streak.
Oral Roberts (15-12, 10-5 Summit) snapped a two-game skid Saturday when Warren Niles' made the game-winning lay-up with 8.7 seconds left as ORU rallied for a 61-60 victory over IUPUI. ORU is 9-3 in the Mabee Center this season and looks for the season sweep over Centenary on Tuesday. Oral Roberts is 1st in the conference in rebounding margin with a +4.3 margin over opponents behind a league high 38.3 rebounds per game, while also placing 2nd in the conference in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 65.8 ppg.
The Golden Eagles bring a balanced scoring attack as four players in double figures lead them. Dominique Morrison paces ORU with 15.3 ppg, while Michael Craion adds 12.6 ppg. Warren Niles chips in with 12.3 ppg and Kevin Ford contributes 11.4 ppg and has a team-best 7.7 rebounds a game (3rd best in the Summit). Coach Scott Sutton leads ORU who, over the last 10 years, has led the Golden Eagles to four Summit League regular-season titles, three straight NCAA Tournaments from 2006-08, and has finished first or second in conference play seven times. Sutton, in his 11th season as head coach at ORU, seeks his 200th win tonight.
Centenary and Oral Roberts will meet for the 16th time since they first squared off in 2004. The Golden Eagles own a 14-1 record against the Gents during that time. They last met earlier this season when ORU took an 87-56 win over Centenary in the Gold Dome on Jan. 23.