Tucson, AZ (Sports Network) - The fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats look to stay
perfect as they host the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at the McKale Center for
Oral Roberts returns to action for the first time since its 86-77 decision at
Texas State on Dec. 5. The win was the second in a row for the Golden Eagles,
who are 5-4 overall and 3-1 in road games this season. Coach Scott Sutton's
squad has yet to face a ranked opponent, but it did pick up some notable
victories at Pacific (69-67) and versus Loyola Marymount (75-66). ORU is
ranked third in both scoring offense (69.9 ppg) and scoring defense (64.1)
among Southland Conference schools.
The Wildcats are coming off of a thrilling 65-64 win over Florida on Saturday
that lifted them to their highest ranking since 2004 and a stainless 8-0
record. Arizona has not started a season 9-0 since the 1987-88 campaign. In
their six home games at the McKale Center this season, the Wildcats are
generating 78.2 points per game and shooting 49.5 percent from the field,
while limiting opponents to 60.8 ppg and a .408 field goal percentage.
This will be the first time these schools face off on the hardwood. Arizona
head coach Sean Miller has never faced Oral Roberts before in his career, but
the school is 3-1 all-time against the Southland Conference.
The Golden Eagles played tough inside their last time out as they held a 42-28
edge in the rebounding battle, blocked five shots, and outscored Texas State
by 12 points in the paint to pick up the nine-point triumph. Senior center
Damen Bell-Holter submitted a strong display with 21 points and eight
rebounds. Niles Warren also tallied 21 points, but he went 7-of-19 from the
floor. Shawn Glover filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, six rebounds, and
four assists and blocks. Niles is pacing the Golden Eagles with 20.9 points
per contest while Glover (11.3), Steven Roundtree (10.6), and Bell-Holter
(10.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg) are also scoring in double figures.
Arizona is coming off of its best performance of the season as it got past
Billy Donovan's Gators thanks to a go-ahead layup by point guard Mark Lyons
with seven seconds to go that finished off a 7-0 run. The Wildcats outscored
Florida 15-0 combined in the final 2:30 of each half. Although the Gators
could have easily run off to a rout after hitting 10-of-18 from three-point
range in the contest, Arizona outscored them 18-6 at the free throw line to
stay undefeated. Senior forward Solomon Hill led the team with 18 points while
Nick Johnson (15) and Lyons provided some scoring from the backcourt. The trio
are combining for 40.3 ppg while rookie seven-foot center Kaleb Tarczekski is
averaging a team-best 6.3 rebounds per game. Lyons, a Xavier transfer, is
shooting a career-best 47.1 percent from the floor and senior swingman Kevin
Parrom provides a threat from deep for the Wildcats.
The Sports Network