OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University rolled to a 91-69 romp past Philander Smith (Ark.) on Tuesday at Abe Lemons Arena.
Dorion Gigger, a junior from Oklahoma City, hauled in a program single-game record 22 rebounds. OCU moved to 5-1 in men’s basketball.
Gigger topped Marcus LoVett’s previous record of 21 rebounds. Gigger tallied 17 points while helping the Stars to a 50-32 rebounding advantage.
“We rely heavily on his rebounding,” OCU coach Vinay Patel said of Gigger. “I get on our post players and get frustrated with them at times because they’re not getting a ton of them. It’s hard to get them when they’re playing with Dorion. He wants to just go and get it. That’s something you can’t coach. I love his intensity and effort. He could have had a bigger game if he had finished some of his buckets off his offensive rebounds. He played a great game. I think his best basketball is still yet to come. I think the second semester we will see better play out of him.”
Evan White, a senior from San Antonio, provided the Stars with a season-best 20 points and six rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. Terence Bonhomme, a sophomore from St. Martinsville, La., posted 13 points and three assists, while Jamil Donovan, a senior from Oklahoma City, contributed a game-high seven assists for OCU.
Midway through the first half, D’Angelo Tucker nailed a 3-pointer that put Philander Smith up 22-21. The Stars responded with a 7-0 run as White ignited the surge with a transition bucket. Gigger converted a 3-point play, and White put OCU up 28-21 on a pair of free throws.
Philander Smith cut the Stars lead to 34-33 with 5:01 to go in the first. White had a lay-in and consecutive treys to keep OCU on top.
The Stars built their lead to 89-63 on White’s 3 with 3:36 showing in the second half. In the second period, OCU held Philander Smith to 34.6 percent shooting from the field. Philander Smith scuffled to a 39.3 field-goal percentage in the game.
“This was a sloppy game,” Patel said. “You saw a lot of free throws, a lot of fouls. We managed to win the game. I thought we played a very good second half defensively. We got to get better at opening games. That’s going to be something we address the second semester.”
The Stars played for the first time in two weeks. OCU will complete its nonconference schedule Jan. 2 before resuming conference play Jan. 7.
“I’m excited about the second semester,” Patel said. “It’s a big semester for us. The majority of our conference games are coming up. I hope we take care of business over the break and get back and keep it going. That’s the one thing I hate about college basketball. We’ve built everything up to this point. It’s been fun to see these guys progress. All of a sudden we have to take a step back for several days. I’m anxious to get back and get back to work.”
Oklahoma City takes on Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30 in San Antonio.