Tulsa drops road contest at Central Florida, 83-75
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2/23/13 at 6:31 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. – A late University of Tulsa rally came up short, resulting in an 83-75 Conference USA basketball victory for Central Florida on Saturday.
A Tristan Spurlock 3-pointer and a Matt Williams basket capped a 12-2 UCF run, giving the Knights a 60-47 cushion with 10 minutes left to play. TU responded with an eight-point sequence from Pat Swilling Jr. (two 3-pointers and two free throws).
After James Woodard scored and Scottie Haralson converted on a 3-pointer, the Golden Hurricane trailed by only four points (79-75) with 42 seconds left. UCF secured the win with late free throws.
Actually, UCF secured the win with free throws, period.
After a 6-of-19 debacle during the East Carolina loss on Wednesday, TU was a much-improved 15-of-19 on free throws against Central Florida. It wasn’t nearly enough, though. The Knights were 31-of-42 from the foul line.
Without being directly critical of the officiating, TU coach Danny Manning addressed the discrepancy on free throws.
“It’s extremely hard to give up (31) points from the free-throw line – when the other team shoots 42 free throws – to be successful on the road in this conference,” Manning said. “I don’t know what it is. We’re definitely taking the ball to the basket and getting into the paint ... and we shoot far less free throws.”
Dealt its fifth loss in seven games, the Golden Hurricane dropped to 14-13 overall and 6-7 in league play. For the second consecutive game, TU was without playmaking freshman point guard Rashad Ray. During a practice session preceding Wednesday’s East Carolina contest, Ray had concussion symptoms after having sustained a blow to the head.
Ray’s absence was conspicuous during a nine-point home loss to East Carolina, and it was just as glaring on Saturday.
Swilling had a big second half at Central Florida, finishing with a season-high-tying total of 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.
Hurricane freshman guard Shaq Harrison’s status for Saturday’s game was uncertain because of a possible back injury sustained against East Carolina.
Harrison did play against the Knights, however, and also matched his season-high scoring total. The lefty from Kansas City had 14 points before fouling out late in the contest. Harrison added five assists and four steals.
Also fouling out were a pair of TU forwards – Kauri Black (for the ninth time this season) and Brandon Swannegan. Tulsa was whistled for 26 fouls and Central Florida for 16.
Woodard, Haralson and Peete were a combined 2-of-13 on 3-point attempts. From D’Andre Wright, Black and Swannegan, Tulsa got a combined total of only 17 points on 11 shot attempts.
For Central Florida, Isaiah Sykes scored 22 points and Spurlock contributed 19. The Knights (18-9, 8-5) snapped a three-game losing streak.
Tulsa doesn’t play again until next Saturday, when Tulane visits for a 3 p.m. league contest at the Reynolds Center.