Oral Roberts vs Pepperdine Preview

Oral Roberts vs Pepperdine Preview

Two mid-majors will take the court tonight at the Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, CA.

Oral Roberts, losers of three straight games hope to snap that losing streak against Pepperdine who has lost two in a row.

Both teams are in the bottom end of their respective conferences, and while they might not have Tournament aspirations, this game is a measuring stick to see how they stack up against similar programs.

The three losses for Oral Roberts were against three solid teams, Tulsa (90-71), Oklahoma State (91-48) and Montana (69-64). Defense has been the biggest problem so far for the Golden Eagles, they are giving up 80.5 PPG and allowing teams to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field against them.

Offensively, Oral Roberts features three double-digit scorers led by senior center Albert Owens–he is averaging 13.5 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block per game. Despite being 6’9 and their main center–he does not do very well on the glass, something Pepperdine will look to take advantage of.

Senior guard Austin Ruder is the Golden Eagles main threat from deep, connecting on 42 percent of his threes this season. He is second on the team in scoring with 13.3 points per game—he also does some work on the glass, 4.8 RPG, nearly matching their center’s rebounding abilities.

Just like Oral Roberts, Pepperdine features three double-digit scorers, led by sophomore forward Kameron Edwards who averages 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per night. Newcomer, Colbey Ross is lights out at the charity stripe making 96 percent of his attempts–he averages 13.3 point and 5 assists per game, solid numbers for a freshman point guard.

Prediction

This game features two lower-level mid-majors, but I expect a tight battle. Ultimately, Oral Roberts deficiencies on the glass will give a sizable advantage to Pepperdine. In addition to Edwards, the Waves have a 6’5 guard Trae Berthow who can bang on the glass with the big boys. He will be able to fight for rebounds against Oral Roberts smaller guards. Whoever wins the rebounding battle will win the game—and Pepperdine will win that battle.

Pepperdine is currently favored (-2.5).

Pepperdine 78 Oral Roberts 70

 

 

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