• Likekele's 18 points help Oklahoma St. hold on to beat ORU

    By: JOHN TRANCHINA, Associated Press

    Updated:
    STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Isaac Likekele scored 18 points, with nine rebounds and five assists, to help lead Oklahoma State to an 80-75 victory over Oral Roberts on Wednesday in the season-opener for both squads.

    Lindy Waters added 15 points and six rebounds while Yor Anei contributed 13 points, 10 boards and eight blocks for Oklahoma State, which won its 44th consecutive home opener.

    Deondre Burns scored 21 points to lead ORU, which trailed by as much as 14 midway through the second half before a late charge got them to within one with 1:14 remaining.

    Emmanuel Nzekwesi scored16 points - 14 in the second half - and added 13 rebounds for the Golden Eagles.

    Oklahoma State led 39-30 at halftime, and after Thomas Dziagwa's 3-pointer with 9:59 remaining, enjoyed a 58-44 advantage. But Oral Roberts kept fighting back, with Burns' pull-up 10-foot jump shot with 2:40 to go capping off a 16-5 run and getting the Eagles to within 68-67. The teams were neck and neck down the stretch, with ORU pulling to within one at 70-69 and 72-71 before several free throws in the final minute sealed it for Oklahoma State.

    BIG PICTURE

    Oral Roberts: It wasn't supposed to be that close. After trailing by at least five points, and usually eight or more, for most of the night, the Golden Eagles kept battling back. It started with their defense through the middle of the second half, as Oklahoma State missed 10 consecutive shots during a 10-1 Eagles run that brought them to within 51-44 with 11:17 remaining.

    Oklahoma State: With all five of their starters returning from last season, it seems strange to look at this as a new Oklahoma State squad, but virtually the entire bench is comprised of newcomers, and they looked pretty good for the most part. Freshman Keylan Boone led the OSU bench, scoring 11 points in just 10 minutes of action in his NCAA debut, while Avery Anderson had five points in his first game. Overall, the Cowboys looked like much more of a team than they did last season, when they used just seven players on most nights.

    UP NEXT

    Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles are back home in Tulsa on Friday for their Homecoming game, taking on Houston Baptist.

    Oklahoma State: The Cowboys play at home on Saturday against Kansas City, a team from the WAC that was 11-21 last year.

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