Warren Niles scored 25 points and Damen Bell-Holter added 24 points, to lead the ORU Golden Eagles over Sam Houston State, 74-64, Thursday night at the Mabee Center. ORU moved to 15-10 overall (10-3 in the Southland Conference), while SHSU fell to 13-11 (6-6) with the loss.
Bell-Holter posted his ninth double-double of the season and fourth 20/10 game in a row with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Korey Billbury added 13 points and had four assists with just one turnover against the Bearkat pressure. D.J. Jackson had a team-high five assists on the night.
"I thought in the first half we played about as well as we've played this year, and Warren and Damen were certainly great in the first half," said Coach Scott Sutton. "We came out with a great deal of energy and our defense was great the first half. They were active, they got their hands on passes and got some steals and deflections and we played like we have to play."
ORU jumped out to a 12-2 lead early in the game and dominated the first half, however, SHSU put on a good performance in the second half in an attempt to come from behind against the home team.
"I thought we played an excellent first half. I thought we played as well as we have in a long, long time and built a 17 point lead," said Sutton. "We challenged them at halftime to put this team away because we haven't done that all year, and it didn't happen tonight. We didn't guard and we allowed way too many second chance opportunities."
ORU will be back at home on Saturday night as the Golden Eagles play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with a 7:30 p.m. tip in the Mabee Center.