TU rally falls short at UALR
BY Staff reports
Saturday, December 15, 2012
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Before Saturday, the University of Tulsa basketball team had connected on 47 percent of its field goal attempts overall, 32 percent of its 3-point shots and 71 percent of its free throws.
At Arkansas-Little Rock’s Jack Stephens Center, the Golden Hurricane’s efficiency plummeted.
TU connected on only 40 percent of its field goal attempts, 25 percent of its 3-point tries (5-of-20) and 57 percent of its foul shots (16-of-28).
When TU’s offense faltered, the Trojans led 39-28 at halftime and surged to a 17-point advantage during the second half. Tulsa rallied to within four points with three minutes left to play, but UALR held on for a 72-65 victory.
“We showed a small bit of manhood to come back out and fight a little bit,” Hurricane coach Danny Manning said. “We need to play like that from the beginning of the game. We shouldn’t wait until we get punched before we punch back. Especially on the road.”
In advance of Wednesday’s test at 16th-ranked Creighton, the Hurricane dropped to 6-4. Against Arkansas-Little Rock, TU freshman forward D’Andre Wright had a season-high total of 15 points, while freshman guard James Woodard finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Woodard said. “On their home court, (the Trojans) felt comfortable. We let them feel comfortable. I believe we should have put more pressure on them.”
After battling back from an early 12-point deficit, TU made mistakes that resulted in a momentum switch. Late in the first half, a Hurricane defensive breakdown allowed UALR’s James White to get a layup off of an inbounds pass. Manning called timeout, and when play resumed, TU committed a turnover while attempting to inbound the basketball. Tulsa then committed a foul, and Ben Dillard’s two free throws gave the Trojans a 14-point cushion (36-22).
Wright’s dunk pulled TU to within six points at 39-33, but Trojan guard John Gillon answered with a 3-pointer that triggered an 11-0 run by Arkansas-Little Rock. When Dillard converted on a top-of-the-key 3-pointer, the Trojan lead was 50-33 with 14:20 left to play.
A 3-pointer by Pat Swilling Jr. and a Zeldric King basket sparked a Tulsa comeback, and the Hurricane trailed only 62-58 with 3:15 remaining.
“We weren’t going to leave this gym without putting up a fight,” Woodard said.
UALR sealed the victory by connecting on free throws while Tulsa misfired on 3-point attempts by Woodard and Swilling.
For the Trojans, who were 24-of-40 on free throws while improving to 8-4, Gillon had 17 points while White added 12 and Josh Hagins 11. UALR is unbeaten in seven home games this season.