Late spurt sparks TU past Rice
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2013
1/13/13 at 7:15 AM
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Nothing in the scouting report suggested that Rice might shoot the lights out.
In advance of Saturday's clash with the University of Tulsa at the Reynolds Center, the Owls entered with the worst field goal percentage in Conference USA.
During the first half, the Owls connected on eight 3-point attempts and surged to a 10-point lead. TU answered with a second-half rally that started with substantially improved defense and continued with a hot streak on free throws.
A 6-foot-3 TU freshman guard from Kansas City, Mo., Shaq Harrison finished with a season-high total of 14 points - along with eight rebounds, four assists and five steals - as the Golden Hurricane beat Rice 64-51.
The Owls were scoreless during the final 4:49. During the same span, Harrison had a steal and a dunk to give TU a 55-51 lead. He followed with a perfectly lofted entry pass to forward Kauri Black, who converted on a layup. Harrison then swished four free throws.
"That was a great four minutes," Harrison said.
During the final 5:47, Tulsa outscored the Owls 17-2. Pat Swilling Jr. had 12 points as the Hurricane recorded its 13th consecutive victory over Rice.
"Player of the game," Hurricane coach Danny Manning said of Harrison. "Shaq is a very talented basketball player. We put him on (Tamir Jackson) in the second half, and Jackson really hurt us in the first half. Shaq does a very good job on him defensively. Just a great game by him. He is becoming a premier defender for us."
Now 10-7 overall and 2-1 in C-USA, the Hurricane had distinctly different success rates on free throws. During the first half, TU was 4-of-12. During the second half, TU made 20-of-23.
Jackson scored 12 first-half points for Rice. Working against Harrison's defense during the second half, Jackson mustered only two more points. The Owls dropped to 3-12 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
"I told our players after the game I was proud of their effort," Rice coach Ben Braun said. "We played hard and held that lead throughout most of the game. We felt like we outplayed Tulsa in the first half and in a good portion of the second half.
"The pressure of the game - the pressure of holding that lead - is something we are going to have to work at."
Hurricane freshman guard James Woodard had a tough evening, scoring only two points while missing on all four of his 3-point shots and committing six turnovers. Scottie Haralson got only three field goal attempts, but he was efficient on free throws (7-of-8) and collected five rebounds.
Haralson, Harrison and freshman forward Zeldric King were a combined 19-of-23 at the foul line. Black was 2-of-8 on free throws. Otherwise, the 6-7 senior played well with 10 points and six rebounds.
Rice blitzed TU with a first-half barrage of 3-pointers. Treys by Seth Gearhart, Julian DeBose and Jackson highlighted a 14-0 Rice run. The Owls were good on eight of their first 10 tries from 3-point range.
"A lot of that had to do with us playing poor defense," Black said. "... We let them get their confidence up by hitting uncontested shots."
During the second half, Rice was only 3-of-11 on 3-pointers and added only three 2-point field goals.
"Teams are going to make runs," Black said, "but eventually they're going to start missing shots when you've got a hand in their face."
7:05 p.m. Wednesday
Original Print Headline: Late spurt sparks Hurricane past Rice
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
TU's Shaquille Harrison drives past Rice's Max Guercy during Saturday's game. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
TU's Rashad Ray goes up for a shot guarded by Rice's Tamir Jackson during Saturday's game. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World