Stronger second half lifts Tulsa to exhibition win over Emporia State
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, October 28, 2012
10/28/12 at 7:13 AM
During Saturday's first half at the Reynolds Center, University of Tulsa players appeared to be exhausted - victims of their own frantic pace.
Fatigue seemed to be much less an issue during the second half. TU needed 26 minutes to score its first 30 points, and only 14 minutes to score 30 more in a 60-49 exhibition victory over Kansas' Emporia State Hornets of NCAA Division II.
After leading only 26-23 at halftime, the Golden Hurricane performed better in every sense. The Hornets connected on only 14 percent of their second-half shots. TU finally established some scoreboard separation on three consecutive low-post baskets (two by freshman D'Andre Wright and one by Rashad Smith) and a 3-pointer by Tim Peete.
Smith totaled 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. His flurry of late baskets secured for Danny Manning his first win as a head coach.
"We got stronger as the game went on," Manning said. "That's good, but we've got to come out of the gates a little bit better."
TU's pressure defense resulted in 22 Hornet turnovers. Hurricane flaws included a 44-36 rebounding deficit and 11 missed free throws.
"It was a first-game experience for a lot of guys," Smith said. "That's exactly what that was."
TU plays another exhibition on Nov. 4, with Panhandle State visiting for a 4:35 p.m. contest. The regular season begins on Nov. 11, when the Hurricane hosts LSU-Shreveport.
Against Emporia State, Tulsa senior Scottie Haralson was 1-of-8 from the field overall and 0-of-5 from 3-point range. The Hurricane got quality shots from its offensive sets and ball movement, but failed to capitalize. TU big men King and Wright were a combined 2-of-10 shooting.
"I think some of it was fatigue and some of it was game jitters," Manning said. "Look at the stat sheet. You don't have too many guys shoot a great percentage. We have to do a better job of finishing on easy opportunities. We missed some (point-blank shots) that we should have made. We missed a ton of free throws."
After the game, Manning - a Kansas Jayhawk legend - signed autographs for two of the Emporia State assistant coaches. The five Hornet starters shot a combined 9-of-33 from the field.
"The first game of the season, in a new era under Danny Manning - everybody was excited," said freshman James Woodard, who led TU in minutes played with 30. The former Edmond Memorial star was good on a pair of 3-point shots and finished with 12 points.
From first-year freshmen Woodard, Shaq Harrison, Rashad Ray and Wright, Manning got combined totals of 26 points and 16 rebounds. None of the freshmen played fewer than 17 minutes.
While some TU players seemed affected by opening-day nerves, the left-handed Woodard seemed poised.
"He had a few stretches tonight where everything looked like it was in slow motion for him, which is good to see it that way," Manning said.
Smith was TU's most productive offensive player during four Canadian exhibitions in August, and he was good again on Saturday. Late in the game, he scored eight points during a span of slightly more than three minutes. His final basket was a dunk with 39 seconds left.
"It felt like my team was playing great defense," Smith said. "Without that defense, it would have been a much closer game and I wouldn't have scored those baskets."
Tulsa 60, Emporia State 49
Emporia State: Moore 12, Wright 9, Sights 8, Shaw 5, Harris 4, Brown 3, Swank 3, Boutilier 3, Euler 2.
Tulsa: Smith 19, Woodard 12, Black 6, Wright 5, Haralson 4, Ray 4, Harrison 3, Peete 3, King 2, Swannegan 2.
Vs. Panhandle St.
4:35 p.m. Nov. 4
Original Print Headline: Stronger second half lifts Hurricane to exhibition victory
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Tulsa head coach Danny Manning directs his players against Emporia State during Saturday's exhibition game. ERIK CAMPOS/For the Tulsa World