PROVO, Utah—Four different players scored in double-figures and BYU held a 52-31 rebounding advantage as the Cougars edged Oral Roberts University, 72-62, at the BYU Holiday Classic on Friday at Marriott Center.
ORU’s Caleb Green (Tulsa, Okla.) became the third player in school history to reach 1,000 rebounds when he reached the milestone mid-way through the first half.
In a game which saw seven lead changes and two ties, as well as significant offensive dry spells for each team, BYU (9-4) was able to take advantage of ORU’s (6-7) front-court foul trouble to pull out the win.
ORU’s four main front court players were whistled for 16 of ORU’s 19 fouls. Green and Marchello Vealy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) each fouled out, while Shawn King (Bequia, St. Vincent) and Sylvester Spicer (Dallas, Texas) were whistled for three fouls apiece.
The Golden Eagles started strong, bolting to a 16-8 lead behind 10 quick points from Green. After Green’s fourth straight basket with 13:16 left before halftime, the Cougars put together a 14-0 run, taking a 22-16 lead on a three-point play by Jimmy Balderson with 10:48 left.
ORU went another 1:28 without scoring before Ken Tutt (Garland, Texas) started a 12-5 run with a short jumper. Tutt’s three-pointer with 5:27 before halftime gave ORU a 28-27 lead, but BYU led 37-33 at the break.
Behind Green and Tutt, ORU grabbed control of the game early in the second half. The duo combined for 13 points as the Golden Eagles opened the half with a 16-2 run. A pair of free throws by Green gave ORU a 49-39 edge with 15:06 left.
With ORU leading 52-46 on a three by Tutt with 13:25 left, Green went to the bench with his fourth foul 16 seconds later and BYU re-gained control of the game.
With Green sitting, the Cougars ripped off a 9-0 run over the next five minutes, taking a 55-52 lead on a pair of free throws by Balderson with 9:05 left. Green re-entered the game and broke the skid with a 15-foot jumper, pulling ORU within 55-54 with 8:39 to go.
A pair of free throws by Green tied the game at 57-57 with 6:25 to play. After BYU went up 59-57 on a pair of free throws, a triple-teamed Green was whistled for his fifth foul with 4:38 to play. And with Green out for good, BYU again took back control of the tight contest.
ORU never got any closer as BYU held on for the win.
Green led the Golden Eagles with 21 points and 13 rebounds, but was limited to 31 minutes – his fewest against a Division I opponent this season – before fouling out. Green finished 7-of-15 from the field and 7-of-10 from the line, adding four assists and three steals.
Tutt enjoyed another strong night, scoring a game-high 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting, and getting three steals.
BYU was led by forward Keena Young’s 21 points and 16 rebounds. Lee Cummard scored 13 points, while Balderson and Trent Plaisted added 12 each.