Oral Roberts University, the newest member of the Southland Conference and the league’s preseason favorite in the 2013 men’s basketball race, visits Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum Saturday afternoon at 3:45 p.m.
The Golden Eagles rolled up a record-breaking 27-7 season to win the Summit League’s championship and earn a berth in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) last year.
Both Sam Houston and ORU enter Saturday’s contest tied for second place in the Southland race with identical 4-1 league records.
Oral Roberts owns victories over Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls State, Northwestern State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Bearkats also defeated the Islanders and have wins over McNeese State, Lamar and Central Arkansas. The SHSU men’s only loss is to Northwestern State.
Sam Houston’s 63-52 victory over Central Arkansas Thursday night gave the Bearkats their seventh victory in their last eight outings. Freshman guard Paul Baxter scored 19 points in the win, his season best.
Bearkat starting guards Darius Gatson and Demarcus Gatlin are adding 8.8 and 7.7 points to the Kat offense. Michael Holyfield leads Sam Houston with 5.8 boards per game. The Kats have averaged 16.5 second chance points off offensive rebounds in the last four games.
Warren Niles and Damen Bell-Holter are the leading scorers for the Eagles with averages of 19.1 and 14.9 points, respectively.
ORU brings a 9-8 season mark into the fray while Sam Houston stands 11-6 for the year.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live by KSAM 101.7 FM.