66ers hang on to beat BayHawks
BY MIKE MOGUIN World Correspondent
Saturday, February 02, 2013
2/02/13 at 5:55 AM
A 3-pointer by Andy Rautins with 42.4 seconds left sealed the deal for the Tulsa 66ers in a 105-98 victory over the Erie BayHawks before a loud crowd of 2,865 Friday night at the SpiritBank Event Center.
Tulsa rallied from a first-half deficit, surged to a big lead, then had to stave off a rally against the visiting BayHawks.
"Our whole team did a great job tonight," Tulsa coach Darko Rajakovic said. "Especially in the second half, defensively. We know that Andy is a great shooter and he had another great night tonight. He made a 3-point shot late in the game that helped us get a six-point lead and allow us to win the game."
Rautins led the 66ers with 22 points. He was one of five double-digit scorers. Rasual Butler finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double, Chris Quinn scored 17 and Dominique Sutton and Ron Anderson each got 12.
It marked the second time in a week Tulsa defeated Erie after beating the BayHawks 105-95 on Monday in Pennsylvania.
"I think playing a team twice in the same week is a little more challenging because they're going to be more prepared," Rautins said.
The 66ers had established a comfortable 91-79 advantage when Quinn hit a 3-pointer with 7:42 left in the game.
But Erie would not go away as it churned out the next 11 points, capping the run off on a 3 from Demetri McCamey with 3:53 left. Butler snapped Tulsa's drought with a 14-foot jumper on the next possession and it was 93-90.
An exchange of baskets followed as Henry Sims scored at the glass for the BayHawks and Butler got a 14-footer for the 66ers.
Then came the trey by Rautins with less than a minute to go, making it a 98-92 game. Erie got two more baskets, but the remaining points came from the charity stripe.
After a tightly contested battle early, the BayHawks went on a 6-0 run in the second quarter and were up 49-42 late in the first half. The 66ers were struggling to make shots in that stretch and Rautins was denied a 3-point attempt on a block by Cory Higgins.
But Tulsa closed with a 10-3 spurt to trail 56-52 at halftime.
Sutton drew the 66ers to within 61-60 early in the third quarter when he riled fans up with a fast break. He put Tulsa ahead with a layup with 8:01 left in the third quarter, giving Tulsa its first lead since the second quarter.
"Consistency (was key)," Rajakovic said. "We didn't get our heads down. We stayed together and confident. Our big guys did a good job of being aggressive, of stopping their guys. All of that gave us confidence on defense. It made it much easier to take shots and make those shots with confidence."
The BayHawks answered with a shot from Sims, but Rautins drilled a 3 immediately after to put the 66ers up 65-63.
Erie's last lead came at 71-69 with 3:11 left in the third.
Tulsa would go on its surge before having to hold the BayHawks off.
Sims led Erie with 29 points and 17 boards for the double-double. Higgins scored 22 points.
The 66ers were out-rebounded 45-42 and shot 47 percent (37-of-78) from the field, and made 47 percent 7-of-15 of their 3s.
The BayHawks shot 44 percent (38-of-86), 38 percent (6-of-16) of their 3s and 70 percent (16-of-23) on free throws.
Tulsa will host Santa Cruz at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Oklahoma City Thunder mascot Rumble the Bison sits with fans during Friday's game in Bixby. KEVIN PYLE/for The Tulsa World
Tulsa forward Rodney Bartholomew is defended by Erie forward Tirrell Baines during the 66ers' 105-98 win Friday. KEVIN PYLE/for The Tulsa World