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TU hangs to beat FIU

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Ashley Clark scored 20 points and Kelsee Grovey put up 19 as Tulsa beat Florida International 78-73 Saturday afternoon at the Reynolds Center.

Liesl Spoerl also finished in double figures with 10 points for the Golden Hurricane (8-7 overall, 2-2 in Conference USA).

TU had built up a sizeable 16-point lead, but found itself down by a point to FIU (8-9, 2-2) before pulling ahead and hanging on to win.

"Ashley was terrific for us," Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman said. "Part of her game is her attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line, but people haven't been able to stop her. I thought she played hard, and Kelsee Grovey played really hard. It hurt us when Mariah picked up her fourth foul and we played without her for about 10 minutes. It was hard for us to get things going with out her, but we managed to pull it out."

Tulsa also overcame the 43-point effort of FIU’s Jerica Coley, who set two records for most points scored by an individual in the building. She had passed the women’s record, previously set by Jillian Robbins’ 38 points for TU against Nevada in 2005, and the overall record of 39, set by Anthony Price on the men’s side the same year.

Coley also set the record for most points scored by an opponent. LaToya Thomas scored 42 points for Mississippi State against Tulsa in a game played in Starkville, Miss. back in 2002.

The Golden Hurricane led 45-29 after a lay-up from Grovey with 3:25 left in the first half. They held a 47-38 advantage at halftime.

Kadan Brady hit two free throws to give Tulsa a 55-40 lead less than five minutes into the second half. The Panthers would then start to come back with Coley’s charge. An inside layup by her put FIU up 62-61 with 5:59 left.

TU immediately took the lead back with a jumper by Grovey. The game would be tied twice more, before the Hurricane took the lead for good on a 3 from Grovey with 2:22 remaining, making the score 72-69.

Tulsa finished with 46 percent (27-of-59) shooting, 33 percent (4-of-12) outside the 3-point arc and converted 74 percent (20-of-27) from the free throw line. FIU was 44 percent (27-of-62), 33 percent (6-of-18) and 87 percent (13-of-15) in those respective categories.

The rebounding battle finished out even as both teams had 37 boards each.

TU takes to the road as it plays next Saturday at Marshall. That game starts at 2 p.m.

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