TU needs three overtimes to defeat Houston
BY Bill Haisten, World Sports Writer
Saturday, February 16, 2013
2/16/13 at 9:58 PM
In the first triple-overtime home basketball game in school history, the University of Tulsa recorded a 101-92 victory over Houston at the Reynolds Center.
At the end of Saturday’s three-hour and one-minute competition that was equal parts sloppy, well-played and dramatic, Golden Hurricane coach Danny Manning was concise in his summary: “This was a very interesting game.”
Tulsa had a 70-67 lead and a chance to finish the Cougars in regulation, but the Hurricane committed a turnover as time was about to expire. Houston’s Jherrod Stiggers collected the loose ball and connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot.
“I just scooped it up and shot the shot, off of one leg,” Stiggers explained.
Said Manning: “We weren’t sound enough or disciplined enough to take care of the ball. They throw up a Hail Mary and it goes in, and then we have an interesting next 45 minutes or so.”
The Hurricane had to rally from a four-point deficit during the second overtime session. During the third overtime, Tulsa deflated the visitors with a flurry of six points — James Woodard’s pull-up jumper from 15 feet, a Rashad Ray basket on a runner in the lane, and two Scottie Haralson free throws.
“Just unfortunate for us that we were unable to finish it in any of the three overtimes,” said Houston coach James Dickey, whose team is 15-9 overall and 4-7 in Conference USA. “I’m so proud of our guys. I despise the way the game turned out from our end. Despite it. But I’m proud of our guys — the way they competed.”
During the overtime periods, Tulsa freshman forward D’Andre Wright scored 14 of his 21 points. Woodard, a freshman guard, contributed 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Golden Hurricane improved to 14-11 overall and 6-5 in league play.
Only a few days earlier, both players were sidelined — Woodard because of a sore back and Wright because of a leg injury. On Saturday, there were season-high minutes totals both for Wright (30) and Woodard (43).
“I think the game itself kept us energized,” Woodard said. “It kept us motivated to keep grinding and keep pushing. The fans stayed into it and gave us energy, also. We kept our focus on getting the win.”
In Hurricane program history, only two previous games had been extended beyond a second overtime. Last season, the Hurricane lost 105-100 to Marshall in a triple-overtime C-USA Tournament quarterfinal at Memphis, Tenn. And on Jan. 12, 2008, Tulsa was dealt a 97-91, triple-overtime conference defeat at Central Florida.
With 57 points against Houston, TU had what might have been a program record for bench scoring. As Ray scored 14 points and Shaq Harrison had five (three of which were the result of final-minute free throws during the third OT), Tulsa got a combined total of 56 points from freshmen.
Pat Swilling Jr. connected on three 3-point shots and totaled 14 points for the Hurricane, while Haralson had 10 points to become the fifth TU player with a double-digit scoring total.
Other stat-sheet highlights:
During the first half, Tulsa attempted only four free throws. By game’s end, Tulsa had attempted 50 free throws (converting on 35). Woodard was 8-of-11 at the foul line.
The Hurricane prevailed in spite of committing 21 turnovers.
The Cougars and TU had combined totals of 148 field goal attempts, 53 3-point attempts and 85 foul shots.
During the overtime periods, Houston and Tulsa scored a combined total of 53 points.
The score was tied 70-70 at the end of regulation, 79-79 at the end of the first overtime and 86-86 through two overtime periods.
Houston’s star was 6-foot-8 sophomore TaShawn Thomas, who played 50 minutes and finished with 31 points and 15 rebounds.
“I think TaShawn just got tired of kicking our butt, man,” Manning said. “We couldn’t guard him. He had a great game.”
For the first time since November 2001 — when the Hurricane hammered Grambling State 104-61 in John Phillips’ first game as the head coach — TU reached the 100-point mark in a home game against an NCAA Division I opponent.