When Tulsa got underway with its season last year, it lost its first five game before getting a win.
That included an opening-season loss to cross-town rival Oral Roberts and close defeats to Arkansas and Loyola-Marymount.
Junior guard Kadan Brady said that the team goal is to do a complete reversal of that trend this year.
“Our main goal going into this season is to go 5-0 first,” Brady said. “So we’re going to take things game-by-game, but our No. 1 goal that we’ve had since the beginning of the summer is we’re going to win our first five games.
“Last Season, we lost our first five games and we had to play catch-up the whole season and we don’t want to have to do that again,” Brady said.
For Tulsa to accomplish that feat, they will have to beat Texas Southern in its season opener at home on Nov. 8, followed Lamar (Nov. 17) on the road, back-to-back home games against Western Michigan (Nov. 22) and cross-town rival Oral Roberts (Nov. 22), and a road meeting against St. Louis (Dec. 3).
The Hurricane surged and surprised people with a win in the Conference USA Tournament, which came in their backyard at the BOK Center, last March. It earned them a berth in the NCAA Tournament, before finishing with a 17-17 record. After beating UCF in the C-USA Championship game, TU was above .500 for the first time since winning its first two games at the start of the 2009-10 season.
“We want to get back and win the conference tournament and advance further in the NCAA Tournament,” Brady said. “This year, it’s going to be a lot more different team because we lost Taleya Mayberry we lost Tiffani Couisnard and Jessica McQuin. Instead of two main scorers, we’re going to have scoring from everybody. So it‘s going to open up our offense a lot.”
Mayberry and Couisnard were Tulsa’s top two scorers last year. But TU will have solid experience in Brady, senior forward Loren McDaniel (6-2), sophomore guard Ashley Clark (5-11) and sophomore guard Kelsee Grovey (5-8).
Spoerl led Tulsa with 16 points in the Golden Hurricane’s 90-67 exhibition win against Newman Sunday night at the Reynolds Center. Parker put up 11. They were two out of four double-digit scorers on the night. Clark and Jasmine Vasquez scored 13 and 10 respectively.
Brady averaged 6.3 points and 2.4 rebounds and finished eight games in double-scoring last year. One of her forte’s has been hitting 3-point shots. Regardless of the angle, whether from the corner or outside the wing, she is can hit it.
“I think I’m comfortable with it,” she said. “My role has definitely changed since my freshman and sophomore year. I’m taking on a different role and have a different attitude about things. But I’ll still shoot the 3.”
In that game, it appeared as if the Golden Hurricane, who were seeded sixth in the tournament, was having its surprise streak come to an end when the No. 2-seeded Pirates has built up a big lead.
“We were down by 11 points at halftime and after we came back to win, we knew the Conference USA Championship was ours,” Brady said. “If we came back from that after halftime, we knew we would beat UCF. It was just a mindset.”