Oral Roberts (3-3) vs. Bowling Green (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 27, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aventura Palace Convention Center -- Cancun, Mexico. Television: None. Home Record: ORU 1-0, Bowling Green 1-1. Away Record: ORU 1-3, Bowling Green 0-2. Neutral Record: ORU 1-0, Bowling Green 1-0. Conference Record: ORU 0-0, Bowling Green 0-0. Series Record: Oral Roberts leads, 3-0
GAME NOTES: The Bowling Green Falcons and the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles will be matched up in the championship round of the Riviera bracket of the Cancun Challenge at the Aventura Palace Convention Center on Wednesday.
After suffering defeats during the round robin leg of the tournament last week, the Falcons finally got a victory on Tuesday in the Riviera semifinals as they ran over Presbyterian, 65-47. With the win, the Falcons are now 2-3 overall this season as they won two of three to start off the campaign.
Oral Roberts pulled itself back to .500 this season in the semifinals as it escaped with a 67-65 victory over Georgia Southern on Tuesday night. The Golden Eagles had taken setbacks against Saint Louis (72-55) and No. 10 Wisconsin (76-67).
In three previous meetings between these programs the Golden Eagles have come away with a victory each time.
Oral Roberts took a seven-point lead with 20 seconds to play and held off a rally from Georgia Southern to escape on Tuesday night. Oral Roberts had sizable advantages from the paint (40-28), off turnovers (16-5) and on second chance opportunities (21-11).
The Golden Eagles don't really spread the offensive load with Shawn Glover (20.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Obi Emegano (19.0 ppg) accounting for more than 50 percent of the scoring this season. However, Emegano has missed the last two games with a knee injury leaving an opening for Korey Billbury (10.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg), who has done well in his turn as the second option. Billbury, who also leads the team in rebounding, finished with 21 points against Georgia Southern, while Glover was right on pace with his scoring average as he tallied 24 points. There are not many more offensive options, as D.J. Jackson (8.8 ppg) represents the only other player above five points per game.
The Falcons were clearly the superior team, especially inside, against Presbyterian as they held a massive advantage on points in the paint, 48-14. Bowling Green also scored 18 points off of turnovers, while shooting 56.9 percent from the floor during the contest.
Defense has certainly been the strong aspect of Bowling Green's game this season. The Falcons are putting in only 68.2 points per game but they have managed to keep a positive scoring margin by holding foes to 66.2 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting from the field. The Falcons offensive efforts certainly haven't been helped with Chauncey Orr missing the last four games with a sprained knee. In his place Spencer Parker (13.8 ppg) and Jehvon Clarke (13.0 ppg) have picked up their scoring pace as two of three players in double figures that have played in every game this year. Anthony Henderson (11.4 ppg) is the third and the closest thing to a 3-point marksman the Falcons have.
Both of these teams are missing important pieces. The Falcons have clearly learned to play without Orr, and Clarke and Spencer are strong enough scorers in their own right to expect a Bowling Green victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 68, Oral Roberts 63
11/27 10:41:10 ET