TU rallies for Mayor's Cup win over ORU
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, December 23, 2012
12/24/12 at 8:59 AM
TU basketball notebook: Wright update
In each of its last two appearances at Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center, the University of Tulsa basketball mustered a significant comeback and recorded an exceedingly satisfying victory.
On Jan. 20, 2010, ORU led by 15 points with 17:42 remaining. The Hurricane rallied for a five-point triumph.
On Saturday, the Mayor's Cup contest began at 2 p.m. From a performance standpoint, the Hurricane showed up at 3:15 - the time at which it began to chip away at ORU's 17-point cushion.
"We had already done the worst we could do," TU senior Scottie Haralson said. "At that point, there was only one direction to go, and that was up."
Said Hurricane coach Danny Manning: "The picture was not rosy."
From a 45-28 deficit with 15:56 remaining, the Hurricane roared back for a 72-68 win.
"We believed we could come back because that's what we do," said Tulsa guard James Woodard, who was brilliant during the second half. "We fight and compete."
Playing for most of the game without freshman forward D'Andre Wright (sidelined with left-leg soreness), the Hurricane finished with a 30-2 advantage in bench scoring and a 38-29 edge in rebounding.
During the opening half, Woodard and Haralson had a combined total of three points on 1-of-11 shooting. TU had more free-throw lane violations (two) than made free throws (one). TU had more turnovers (eight) than assists (six).
By game's end, Woodard had 18 points (all scored in the second half), while Haralson scored nine of his 12 points during the Hurricane comeback. During the second half, Tulsa shot 62 percent from the field. ORU shot 30 percent.
The veteran Golden Eagles were conquered by Tulsa freshmen like Woodard (whose 3-pointer with 4:34 left gave the Hurricane its first lead at 61-59), forward Zeldric King (10 points on 5-of-7 shooting) and guard Rashad Ray (11 points on 4-of-4 shooting).
"Rashad doesn't miss a shot," Manning said. "Zeldric was really good. He scored 10 points and didn't shoot a free throw. I thought he should have shot a couple, but that's just me.
"The goal is always to win. You never give up until the final horn sounds. We got a little lucky, too. Some of (ORU's players) missed some shots that they normally make. That's part of the game."
Now 7-5 for the season, the Hurricane has been a winner in five of the last six Mayor's Cup games. In its series with ORU, Tulsa has a 32-16 lead.
With 15:56 left, ORU big man Damen Bell-Holter scored to give the Golden Eagles a 45-28 lead. He also was popped with a technical foul, apparently for taunting a TU player. After that, everything changed. The Hurricane's energy level seemed to triple while ORU's seemed to wane.
"There was a momentum change," Haralson said.
Tulsa's comeback began with four quick baskets - two each by Woodard and Haralson. In slightly more than two minutes, TU had drawn within 45-37. At the 12:38 mark, Bell-Holter was whistled for his fourth foul. TU responded by attacking the middle of the Golden Eagle defense. As the shot clock was about to expire, Woodard drove and scored over Bell-Holter. With 6:27 left, King leaned into Bell-Holter and converted on a layup that tied the score at 54-54.
After trailing 45-28, TU outscored ORU 44-23.
In the final game of his high school career, Woodard's Edmond Memorial squad competed against undefeated Union in last season's Class 6A state finale at the Mabee Center. Woodard had a tough experience, missing on all five of his shots from the field as Edmond Memorial lost 37-36.
Given a second shot at a big-game Mabee Center experience, Woodard savored the outcome.
"I was thinking about that Union game when we were coming here today," he said. "This feels a lot better. I'll sleep good tonight."
At Orange Bowl Classic (vs. Florida State)
1 p.m. Saturday
Original Print Headline: Comeback 'Cane
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Tulsa mayor Dewey Bartlett (left) presents the Mayor's Cup trophy to TU's Jamie Booker, Kauri Black and Scottie Haralson after the Golden Hurricane's 72-68 win over ORU Saturday. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World