CORPUS CHRISTI – Oral Roberts used a 19-5 second-half run to pull away in a 64-52 win over the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team on Thursday night on Stripes Court. Damen Bell-Holter had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (9-8, 4-1 Southland), while Will Nelson had his second double-double with 18 points and 10 boards for the Islanders (2-13, 1-4 Southland).
Bell-Holter did extensive damage at the free-throw line, converting on 11-of-12 at the stripe and going 8-for-9 from the field. Warren Niles (14) and Shawn Glover (12) also finished in double figures for the Golden Eagles, who converted 23 of their 28 free-throw attempts.
The Islanders struggled to find their outside shooting in the loss, going 3-for-16 from distance. Hameed Ali added nine points and four steals for the home squad, but no other A&M – Corpus Christi player had more than six points.
Early on, neither team was able to get in much of a rhythm offensively, with the Islanders holding a 10-9 lead at the 11:01 mark. Will Nelson and Hameed Ali combined for all of the home squad's 10 points at that juncture, with Nelson scoring six and Ali four.
At that point, the visitors went on a 7-0 run to gain their first meaningful edge at 16-10. Two baskets by Bell-Holter and a three-point play by Shawn Glover comprised the rally. But the Islanders responded, putting up a 10-4 rally to tie the game at 20 a side. Joy Williamson and Ali each knocked down threes during the stretch for the Islanders. The Islanders gained a lead after a Zane Knowles putback made it 23-22, but ORU closed the half with a three-pointer from Mikey Manghum to enter the locker room up two at 25-23.
Out of the break, the two teams traded points with ORU pushing its lead to 30-27. But the Golden Eagles then went on a 7-0 run to push the advantage to 37-27. Knowles broke the string with a big dunk on a feed from Ali, but the visitors continued their staunch defense to stem the tide. The Islanders were able to cut it to 39-32, but ORU surged again, putting forth an 8-0 run to break the game open at 49-32.
The Islanders were able to chip away from there, beginning with a 5-0 run, and a Williamson free throw got the deficit back to 10 at 54-44. The Islanders got it as close as eight on a three-point play by Nelson, but the Golden Eagles were able to finish things at the line to emerge with the victory.
The Islanders are back in action on Saturday, when Central Arkansas comes to town for a doubleheader. The women's game is set to tip at noon, with the men's game scheduled for an approximately 2:30 start. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call of the men's game at approximately 2:15 with the pregame show on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX.