Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles look to stay hot when they square off with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Thursday night action. The Golden Eagles bounced back from a disappointing loss at Oklahoma to edge out Arkansas-Little Rock 58-55 while the Bulldogs suffered their first home defeat of the year in a 74-67 loss to Michigan State. The Bulldogs are -12 point favorites over the Golden Eagles.
Oral Roberts has crafted a good start to the season despite some odd numbers as this team doesn’t shoot the ball real well and doesn’t defend the shot all that great either yet is still giving up a very respectable 63 points. The Golden Eagles turned up the defensive intensity versus Arkansas Little Rock with favorable results as the Trojans barely cracked 41% from the field and ORU needed that effort with only a 40% night from their own shooters. The stats for this game were as close as the final score except Oral Roberts gave the ball away 16 times. Both teams walked a very fine line between winning and losing with dreadful free throw shooting in a close game with the Golden Eagles going 14 of 22 and UALR converting 12 of 19. Most of the Golden Eagles scoring came from three players with Roderick Pearson tossing in 20 points and handing out five assists while Damen Bell-Holter added 12 points and eleven rebounds. Dominique Morrison chipped in with 11 points and six pulls with Michael Craion bring down ten boards and adding seven points.
Gonzaga has looked like the team we’ve grown accustomed to seeing the last few years with a high scoring offense but the defense hasn’t been up to snuff and it’s hurt them in back to back defeats. I watched every minute of their game with Michigan State and it was painful at times with the Spartans lighting up the nets at 54.2 % while the Bulldogs were just average at 43% from the floor. Both teams were making a few long balls but there was little continuity or flow with MSU giving the ball away 15 times and the Zags returning the favor with 20 turnovers. The one area where Gonzaga excelled was at the charity stripe with 22 makes in 28 attempts. David Stockton paced the Bulldogs attack with 19 points on 4 of 6 from down town while Robert Sacre tossed in 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Gary bell chipped in with 13 points but the Zags lost because the Spartans Draymond Green was a man among boys with 35 points on 11 of 13 from the floor.
Oral Roberts doesn’t have great numbers and need their defense to produce much better especially against teams like Gonzaga who can fill the cylinder. I’m not sure what to think about the Zags after the loss to Michigan State but if they play as usual they can destroy Oral Roberts. I am going on the premise that Gonzaga plays as they did against Michigan State in which case I’ll take the points.
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles +12 Gonzaga Bulldogs