Knowles grabbed 10 rebounds, Brandon Pye added 13 points and the Islanders (5-10, 2-0 Southland Conference) outshot the Golden Eagles (7-8, 1-1) from the field 48.1 percent to 42.6 percent.
The lead changed hands five times before Thomas hit a layup at 9:59 and Hameed Ali followed with a jumper to put the Islanders up 20-16 and they kept Oral Roberts at arm's length for a 37-31 halftime advantage.
The Islanders opened second half with a 10-3 run and a 44-34 lead in which Pye made a layup and back-to-back 3-pointers. Oral Roberts stayed close and cut the lead to six points on a Shawn Glover layup with 3:14 to go, but got no closer.
Glover paced Oral Roberts with 21 points and Korey Billbury added 18.
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.
|Stephen F. Austin||18-0||-||28-6|
|Sam Houston State||12-6||6||18-16|