TU women tip Rice, win fourth in a row
BY MIKE MOGUIN World Correspondent
Monday, February 18, 2013
2/18/13 at 8:02 AM
A layup by Taleya Mayberry and a game-clinching free throw from Kadan Brady in the final 30 seconds lifted Tulsa to a 49-45 victory over Rice on Sunday afternoon at the Reynolds Center.
Mayberry, a senior guard from Booker T. Washington, scored 21 points, marking the 78th game of her career with double-figure scoring.
The Tulsa defense limited Jessica Kuster, the Owls' top scorer, to seven points. Kuster, the Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year, had double-doubles in the Owls' three previous games and had 13 on the year.
She also finished with 12 rebounds.
"She's their leading scorer and leading rebounder," Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman said. "We thought if we limited her touches ... even when she had it, we were playing her a certain way so that she couldn't be effective. I thought Kelsee Grovey and Kadan Brady did a great job of defending her."
The win is also the fourth straight for TU (11-13, 6-5 in Conference USA), its longest streak of the season. It also places the Golden Hurricane above .500 in the conference for the first time this season and in a tie with UTEP and UAB for fourth place.
"It is awesome," Mayberry said. "Winning four in a row, we're on a roll and we want to keep it going."
Tulsa was up 46-45 for almost three minutes before Mayberry scored in the paint with 25 seconds remaining.
"When it's a one-point ball game, it's kind of anybody's ball game." Mayberry said. "We ran our flat-play, trying to get me something going to the rim, and I knew if I scored it would give us more of a cushion."
Jessica Goswitz, the Owls' scoring leader with 12 points, all coming on 3-pointers, attempted to tie the game with another trey with 10 seconds to go. But her shot was way off and she fouled Brady three seconds later, sending the Healdton sophomore guard to the line.
Brady, the Hurricane's second-leading scorer in the game with nine points, made the first free shot and the game was clinched.
The Golden Hurricane trailed 23-18 at halftime. Tulsa struggled to make shots while Rice was controlling the boards with a 26-21 edge.
"They were overpowering us and we had to come back and get physical with them," Mayberry said.
Tulsa shot just 27 percent (9-of-34) in the first half while Rice netted 33 percent (9-of-27) of its shots.
"Kids get so caught up in scoring," Mossman said. "At halftime, all we talked about how we held them to 23 points, we've contained Kuster, we've done a lot of good things, so let's hang in there, let's continue to guard, continue to rebound and the shots will fall.
"I think in the second half, we kind of forgot about shots that didn't fall in the first half, and we really depended on our guarding and our rebounding."
Rice out-rebounded TU, 43-42.
Tulsa finished shooting 32 percent (20-of-63) on the game, made just two treys and made 50 percent (7-of-14) of its free throws.
The Owls also shot 32 percent (16-of-50), made 31 percent (5-of-16) of their 3s and shot 53 percent from the line.
Goswitz increased the Rice lead to eight points when she opened the second half with her third trey, but Tulsa followed with a 12-2 run to take its first lead at 30-28 on a lay-up by Mayberry with 15:12 left in the game.
Brady's 3-point basket from the left wing gave TU its largest advantage at 42-37 with 5:51 left. But the Owls answered with five points within a minute, with Gostwitz's fourth 3 tying it.
Two free throws by Mayberry at 4:22 broke the tie.
Free shots from Christal Portal gave Rice its first lead since early in the second half. But Loren McDaniel responded with a lay-up on the next possession, reclaiming the lead for Tulsa.
Porter was second in team-scoring for Rice with 10 points. Megan Palmer was second on the boards with 10.
Tulsa's win splits the season series.
Rice won the first meeting, 56-53, back Jan. 13 in Houston.
The Golden Hurricane travels to Dallas on Thursday for a meeting with first-place SMU.
They lost to the Mustangs, 71-46, on Jan. 27 at the Reynolds Center.
At SMU 7 p.m. Thursday
Tulsa's Taleya Mayberry puts up a shot while she is defended by Rice's Jessica Kuster (left) and Megan Palmer during Sunday's game. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World