James Woodard scored 19 points and Shaquille Harrison put up 13 to lead Tulsa to a 78-64 victory against Arkansas-Little Rock Tuesday night before at the Reynolds Center.
The Golden Hurricane (3-6) trailed 28-26 at halftime, then exploded in the second half, scoring with dunks and getting in some fast breaks.
A layup by Marquel Curtis put TU on top 43-41 with 12:22 remaining in the game.
Lew Evans nailed a 3-pointer with 11 minutes left in the game. UALR called timeout and that proved to be the turning point for TU breaking the game open.
“I believe that was a big play for us,” Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. “But I also think Marquel Curtis’s layup gave us a big spark. In the second half, we came out and pushed the temp a little bit more. We were active on the glass.”
Tulsa also capitalized on second-chance opportunities after halftime with 11 points after having zero in the first half.
Woodard hit a 3-point shot to start the second half to put TU ahead, then Rashad Smith forced a steal on the following possession, then later took a pass from Woodard to make a basket and Tulsa was up 31-28. That started a 15-5 run.
“The biggest thing for us was we wanted to get more up-tempo,” Manning said. “We only scored 26 points in the first half. We wanted to get up and down the court more than that. We also have to a better job of converting on easy opportunities.”
The Trojans answered with a 8-0 run to tie it. But Tulsa would not left them go further. Curtis would make his tie-breaking lay-up after the spurt.
The win marks Tulsa’s second straight, both at home and for the season.
The TU defense kept Will Neighbor, UALR’s leading scorer to 15 points, three below his season scoring average. But the 6-10 senior from England also got 10 rebounds, giving him a double-double.
Tulsa shot 43 percent (22-of-51), 38 percent (8-of-21), coming from 3-point range. The Golden Hurricane struggled from the free throw line early, but improved as the game wore on, finishing at 65 percent (26-of-40).
UALR, which finished with a 38-37 rebounding advantage over Tulsa, shot 36 percent (20-of-55) from the floor and was 74 percent (20-of-27) from the foul line.
The Golden Hurricane forced 10 steals in the game.
After Evans’ trey, Tulsa would score 10 more points with the spurt capped by a from Smith with 8:54 to go. TU kept stretching the lead from there.
The game against the Trojans was originally scheduled for Saturday as part of a doubleheader with the TU women. It was then moved to Sunday due to icy weather. Because UALR’s teams were unable to travel due to poor road conditions, the men’s game was moved to Tuesday. Since the women were scheduled to play a road contest at Arkansas, their game against UALR is to be re-scheduled for a later date.
Next for the Golden Hurricane is Oklahoma Saturday in Norman.