WIU Win Streak Snapped at ORU

Trevor Davis , Courier Staff

Western Illinois was unable to add to their five-game win streak this weekend after dropping both games to Oral Roberts. Western lost the first game 85-81 and the second by a score of 59-95.

The Leathernecks were unable to secure the win in game one, despite some strong individual performances. Tamell Pearson contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Ramean Hinton also got in on the action with a double-double of his own. Hinton scored 18 points, the second highest total of his career, and came down with a career high 10 rebounds while playing 32 minutes, also a career high. Colton Sandage led the Leathernecks in scoring with a career high 32. Sandage also tied a program record with nine three-pointers made. 

For the Golden Eagles, Max Abmas scored a game high 41 points and established himself as the nation’s leading scorer. This was the second time this season that Abmas scored 40 points, making him the only player in the NCAA to accomplish this feat. 

The Leathernecks came out of the gates hot and jumped out to a 16-7 lead just five minutes into the game. ORU was eventually able to tie the game at 22 thanks to a bucket from Abmas. Despite this, Western once again took control. The Necks put together a 10-2 run to gain an eight point lead. ORU once again was able to tie the game thanks to some good shooting from Abmas once again. The game went to half tied at 44. Oral Roberts took their first lead of the game two minutes into the second half by a score of 49-47. The Leathernecks once again fought back and were able to establish a 10-point lead with six minutes left in the game. However, the Golden Eagles put together an 18-4 run down the stretch, with 11 of those points coming from the free throw line, to take the lead and eventually ice the game. 

Game two of the series was much less competitive. ORU won the game going away by a score of 95-59. Sandage led WIU in scoring with 18 points and Adam Anhold scored 10 points to join Sandage as the only two Leathernecks to score double digits. As a team, Western shot 25 percent from the floor, including 3-24 from three point range. 

On the ORU side of things, the Golden Eagles were once again led by Abmas who scored 25. Kevin Obanor added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. As a team, Oral Roberts shot 50 percent from the floor and nearly 40 percent from three. The Eagles also scored 44 points in the paint.

ORU took the lead with 18 minutes left in the first half and never looked back. The Golden Eagles took a 23-point advantage into the half. The lead ballooned in the second half and ORU eventually won the game 95-59. 

Western Illinois finished the season as the No. 7 seed in The Summit League Tournament and will take on the No. 2 seed South Dakota Coyotes on March 6. The Coyotes swept the Leathernecks in their regular season series on Jan. 22 and 23.