Tulsa Picks up Road Win at East Carolina, 70-67
Jan. 14, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Tulsa faced another tough road test at East Carolina Saturday, and came up with a 70-67 Conference USA victory at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
Jordan Clarkson tied a career high with 23 points, including personal-bests of five three-pointers and six assists to lead the Golden Hurricane (9-9, 2-2 C-USA). Kodi Maduka tied his career-high with 17 points, all in the second half. He added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Clarkson made 7-of-9 shots in the game, including all five three-point attempts.
Tulsa made 46 percent of its field goals and 72 percent of its free throws - the fourth straight game it has shot above 70 percent from the foul line. The Hurricane held ECU (9-7, 0-3 C-USA) to 38 percent shooting in the game. Darrius Morrow led the Pirates with 18 points, and Maurice Kemp scored 10 points with 10 rebounds.
"It was a great win for us, for a lot of reasons," Tulsa Head Coach Doug Wojcik said. "Any win is a good win, and this is a really hard place to play. It evens our record, evens us in conference, and evens us on the road. I give our players a lot of credit. They've been through a tremendous amount. They've been incredibly resilient. I'm really proud of them."
Tulsa scored the first basket of the second half to go up by 10 points, 43-33, but East Carolina closed to three points at 45-42 with 13:37 left in the game. The Hurricane increased its lead back to nine points at 51-42, and bounded back and forth until 8:03 remaining when TU led 59-50.
ECU got within one possession four times in the second half before the final minute, but the Golden Hurricane prevented the Pirates from tying or taking the lead each time. TU led the entire game.
With 1:32 remaining and a three-point lead, Steven Idlet hit a pair of free throws to put Tulsa up by five points. After an ECU three-pointer, Maduka converted a big layup plus the free throw to put the Hurricane up by five points, 70-65, with 0:44 remaining.
Tulsa got out to 22-4 lead in the first nine minutes of the game, on the strength of four three-pointers, four of which were made by Clarkson. The sophomore guard had 19 points by halftime with five three-pointers.
The Pirates closed the gap to eight points at 29-21 with 5:05 left in the half. Tulsa and East Carolina traded baskets from downtown, as TU twice extended its lead back to 12 points. The Hurricane had to fend off ECU, which cut the advantage back to six points at 36-30 with 1:39 remaining. Between 5:08 and 1:39, ECU made four straight from downtown while McClellan and Clarkson each hit a pair of threes.
Clarkson's fifth three-pointer of the half gave Tulsa a 39-30 lead, and a long jumper by ECU and a free throw for each team gave the TU a 40-33 halftime lead.
The Golden Hurricane returns home to play host to Tulane at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
For all Tulsa basketball news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane.
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