It took Frank Haith 15 games to finally lose a game during his time at Missouri. He even managed to win his debut at Miami.
After Tulsa’s 77-68 loss to Oral Roberts at the Mabee Center on Saturday, Haith finds himself 0-1 at his third career heading-coaching stop.
“Yeah, that’s disappointing,” Haith said of his first game leading the Golden Hurricane. “We’re going to get that fixed, I promise you that.”
For a team that shot 44 percent during its 21-13 run to the NCAA tournament last season, the Golden Hurricane couldn’t anything to drop en route to losing its second straight Mayor’s Cup game. Tulsa connected on 21 of its 62 shots from the floor, including 2-of-19 from beyond the arc.
The Golden Hurricane didn’t convert its second 3-pointer until James Woodard buried one with 1:31 left.
“We’re not going to win many games going 2 of 19 from 3,” Haith said.
ORU coach Scott Sutton made it well known that his club was going to let Tulsa shoot from deep.
“It’s no secret they’re not a great perimeter shooting team,” Sutton said. “We went to (a zone defense) and we had some success. And we stayed with it.”
D’Andre Wright led Tulsa (0-1) with 17 points, but the Lawton native needed 15 field-goal attempts to get to that mark.
“A lot of it is on me,” said Wright, who grabbed seven rebounds. “I should have been posting deeper. Where I was, I was just trying to catch and make a move from there.”
Also hindering Tulsa, Shaquille Harrison got into early foul trouble. Harrison finished with nine points in 18 minutes, but he saw action only in seven first-half minutes.
“You look at a guy like Shaq, and I thought he had the bounce he needed to have. But he never did feel like he could play,” Haith said of Harrison’s foul trouble. “A lot of guys got in foul trouble, particularly a lot of our perimeter guys getting in foul trouble.”
Tulsa’s final lead was when Wright connected on a jumper with 14:39 left in the game. However, Oral Roberts’ Albert Owens answered with a shot in the paint, and the Golden Eagles would never look back.
“When we play a game like this, we need to have a little more toughness,” Haith said. “We just didn’t have it.”
Rashad Smith and Marquel Curtis both chipped in with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Beyond that, the Golden Hurricane received zero bench help, outside of Brandon Swannegan’s one point.
In all, Haith watched as three of his players (Harrison, Woodard and Curtis) fouled out, resulting in 31 team fouls and 44 free-throw attempts for the Golden Eagles.
“The flow was tough,” Haith said. “It was just a tough game in terms of that.”