Tulsa finished the regular season the right way as it defeated Rice, 77-71, Saturday at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. Now the Golden Hurricane (16-14 overall, 8-8 in Conference USA) can focus on playing in the Conference USA Tournament, which it will be hosting this week at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa.
Scottie Haralson and D’Andre Wright led TU with 15 points each. They were half of four Golden Hurricane players who finished in double figures. The other two were Pat Swilling Jr. with 14 and James Woodard with 11.
The Owls (5-25, 1-15) were led by the 30-point effort of Tamir Jackson. Julian Debose and Austin Ramljak also scored 17 and 15 points respectively for Rice.
Tulsa had to hold on for the win. It led 33-19 at halftime and 62-44 with 7:16 left after Woodard made a 3-point shot. Rice then drew within to four points at 75-71 with 27 seconds remaining in the game, but free throws from Wright and Rashad Ray sealed within six seconds later.