UND men’s basketball traveled to Tulsa this past weekend to take on the Golden Eagles in two conference games at the Mabee Center. The Hawks were looking to improve their Summit League record after going 1-1 in the previous week against UMKC and pick up their first road victory of the year.
During the start of the first game, it seemed like UND would cruise to an easy win. They jumped to an early 7-2 lead in the opening minutes after a 3 pointer from Seybian Sims and the Golden Eagles looked flustered after only making 1-7 from the field. But as the game progressed, ORU’s shooting improved and they began to work their way back into the game. At 13 minutes left, Oral Roberts took their first lead of the game after a layup from sophomore Deshang Wang. The Eagles continued their run, eventually leading the Hawks 22-14 with 9 minutes remaining. Each team continued trading buckets until the Hawks went on a 9-0 run at the five-minute mark to retie the game at 31-31 with just over 2 minutes remaining. The half concluded with the Golden Eagles leading 37-33.
The second half opened with good play from both sides as the Hawks tried to reduce their deficit. ORU was able to maintain their lead until a good jumper from Philip Rebraca put UND ahead 54-53 with 8 minutes left. Play continued to be close, with the lead changing hands 9 times until a Rebraca layup tied the game at 71-71 with 25 seconds left in regulation. UND scored the final point on a Sims free-throw, and a Rebraca block kept the Eagles from scoring on the final possession giving the Fighting Hawks the win 72-71.
The Hawks put up a great performance, shooting 36% from three and 45% from field goal range. Filip Rebraca had one of his best scoring nights so far putting up 24 on 55% shooting. Seybian Sims also had a solid outing, getting 10 points and nabbing 5 rebounds.
The second game in the series didn’t go as well for UND. After a close play in the opening minutes, the Golden Eagles were able to amass a 17–point lead by the end of the first half. Oral Roberts had an exceptional first half, shooting 67% percent from three and 50% inside the arc while UND struggled to contain their offense.
The second half didn’t go much better for the Hawks. ORU’s dominating performance continued and UND found themselves down 21 at 57-36 with 12 minutes left in the game. Their lead would prove to be insurmountable, as the Hawks would go on to lose 74-57. UND struggled from three making 7 for 23 in contrast with the Golden Eagles 15 for 29.
This series puts UND at 2-2 in the Summit League and 3-10 overall. Filip Rebraca shined, averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds over both games, and Ethan Igbanugo also had solid outings, putting up 11 points each night.
The Fighting Hawks next game will be against NDSU at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on January 15, 7:30 pm. Live Coverage can be found on MidcoSN.
Alex Mailes is a Dakota Student Sports Writer. He can be reached at [email protected]