Tulsa basketball falls to East Carolina
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Thursday, February 21, 2013
2/21/13 at 8:03 AM
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At this level of basketball, it's rare to see a team fail so resoundingly on such a basic exercise - the shooting of a free throw.
On Wednesday night, in a Conference USA clash with East Carolina at the Reynolds Center, the University of Tulsa attempted 19 free throws. In a 72-63 loss to the Pirates, the Golden Hurricane misfired on 13 of the 19 foul shots.
"When you shoot 32 percent from the free throw line, it's hard to beat anybody," TU coach Danny Manning said. "You look at the stat sheet - we had more points in the paint, we had more points off of turnovers (and) we had more fast-break points. (East Carolina's) bench hurt us and the free throw line hurt us, among other things."
A victory would have resulted in Tulsa's first three-game win streak since November. Instead, in advance of Saturday's game at Central Florida, the Hurricane is 14-12 overall and 6-6 in C-USA play.
Tulsa wasted one of the best performances of Scottie Haralson's career. The senior guard scored 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting overall and 4-of-10 shooting on 3-pointers. In 36 minutes, he totaled four assists and did not commit a turnover.
"I just wanted to be aggressive," Haralson said. "Of course, I wanted the win more than the stat line."
Senior forward Kauri Black also played well for TU, scoring 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field. Pat Swilling Jr. finished with 11 points.
Because of concussion symptoms - resulting from having sustained a blow to the head during a practice session - TU freshman point guard Rashad Ray was not in uniform on Wednesday. His status for the Central Florida game is uncertain.
By the 4:11 mark of Wednesday's first half, East Carolina had surged to a 14-point advantage. TU wasn't making shots, wasn't making free throws and wasn't very good at the defensive end of the court.
The Hurricane responded with a 17-4 run that began during the opening half and ended with Black's thunderous dunk, resulting in a 38-38 tie at the 17:56 mark of the second half.
With 10 minutes left to play, a Swilling basket gave the Hurricane a 51-46 advantage. With 6:41 remaining, Haralson scored and Tulsa once again led by five at 56-51.
East Carolina answered with a 10-0 burst that was sparked by junior guard Akeem Richmond. During an overtime loss to Southern Miss last weekend, Richmond connected on a school-record total of eight 3-pointers. Against Tulsa, he converted on two 3-pointers within a span of 30 seconds. That second trey gave the Pirates a 61-56 lead. During the final minute, TU committed two turnovers.
Conference USA scoring leader Maurice Kemp had 23 points for East Carolina (15-10, 6-6). Richmond was 5-of-11 from 3-point range for 17 points.
"He has a green light," East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo said of Richmond. "It's never yellow."
"It was a game of runs and swings. It was an odd game," Lebo said. "In the last five minutes of the game - where we've lost some really heartbreaking ones - we actually won this one.
"We were aided a little bit by Tulsa's tough night shooting the ball from the foul line."
During its triple-overtime triumph over Houston, the Hurricane got 56 points from its first-year freshmen. Against East Carolina, Tulsa's freshman scoring amounted to only 13 points. After rolling for 25 points at UTEP and 21 against Houston, Hurricane forward D'Andre Wright totaled only four points on 2-of-8 shooting against the Pirates. James Woodard was scoreless - 0-of-2 from the field, 0-of-3 from the foul line.
Shaq Harrison scored nine points before sustaining a possible back injury during the game's final minute. On a dunk attempt, Harrison lost his balance and crashed hard onto the court.
3 p.m. Saturday
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Original Print Headline: E. Carolina takes down Hurricane
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Tulsa's D'Andre Wright (right) defends Ty Armstrong during a basketball game in Tulsa against East Carolina on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World