Tulsa Holds On For Victory Over Memphis, 68-65
Feb. 2, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Tulsa basketball team probably wants the result of this Groundhog Day to repeat itself over and over. The Golden Hurricane, like Punxsutawney Phil, did not see its shadow this morning, signaling the end of its losing streak against Memphis was near.
Wednesday evening, led by four players in double figures, including a game-high 17 by Steven Idlet, Tulsa defeated Conference USA rival Memphis, 68-65, for the first time in 13 tries, and won on the road against the Tigers for the first time since 1971. TU also snapped what had become an odd losing streak on Wednesdays this year.
The Golden Hurricane, at 12-10 overall and 5-3 in C-USA play, now finds itself just one-half game out of first place in the league standings, behind 5-2 UTEP and 6-3 Southern Miss. Memphis, meanwhile, is now 16-6 overall and 5-3 in league play, also tied with TU and two other schools.
"There's a lot of heroes in that locker room right now," Tulsa Head Coach Doug Wojcik said. "Steven Idlet turns his ankle yesterday at practice and plays like a champ today. I've been on Justin Hurtt about leadership and being a leader, now he's the only guy in my six years to have his team come in here and beat Memphis. It's a happy homecoming for Tim Peete being a Central High grad. We came back and shot free throws great. We win a game shooting 34-percent on the road with our leading scorer going 4-for-18. That says a lot about our defense."
Tulsa overcame a 10-point second-half deficit, and survived a pair of three-point attempts by Memphis with under 8 seconds remaining to pull off the, 68-65, victory.
With a five-point lead twice in the final minute, the Hurricane avoided fouling, and the Tigers got easy layups. However, after the first layup by Joe Jackson with 19 seconds left, Jordan Clarkson was fouled bringing the ball up the court and sunk his two free throws.
After Jackson's second layup with 11 seconds remaining, Tulsa had two inbound opportunities. The second time, with 8.8 seconds on the clock, Memphis stole the ball and had two open three-point shots, both of which fell short, as TU celebrated its win.
"We just kept at it with the defense," Wojcik said of overcoming a 10-point deficit. "We forced them into 17 turnovers, and that's a big stat - 17 turnovers vs. our 11. That and other guys stepped up. I thought Scottie Haralson getting to the free throw line and Jordan Clarkson at the free throw line was really big for us."
Clarkson totaled 15 points and three assists, while Scottie Haralson had 13 points and five rebounds, making all seven of his free throw attempts. Idlet added seven rebounds and shot 8-for-11 from the field in the game.
Memphis, with a, 30-27, lead at halftime, opened the second period on a 7-0 run to take a, 37-27, lead with 17:17 remaining. The Golden Hurricane finally got the deficit under five points on an Idlet jumper with 12:42 left.
TU could not get any closer than three points until Clarkson hit a three-pointer with 9:04 on the clock, to make the score, 57-56, UM. Down one with 7:36 remaining, Haralson was fouled shooting a three-pointer, and nailed all three free throws to give the Hurricane a, 51-49, lead.
It was back-and-forth the rest of the way as the teams traded the lead and found five more ties in the next six minutes.
The Golden Hurricane finally took the lead for good with 1:19 on the clock when Hurtt made two free throws to give the visitors a, 62-61, advantage. Hurtt, who scored all 11 of his points in the second half, extended the lead to three at, 64-61, with a jumper in the paint.
Haralson, who made all seven of his free throw attempts in the final seven-and-a-half minutes, hit two with 25 seconds left to extend the TU lead to five, 66-61.
In all, Tulsa made 82 percent of its free throws, including 18-of-19 in the second half. The Golden Hurricane won despite shooting just 34 percent from the field, but held Memphis to 40 percent from the floor, outrebounded the Tigers, 41-38, and frustrated the home team into 17 turnovers.
TU grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, converting those into a, 17-5, advantage in second chance points. The Hurricane bench outscored the Tigers', 21-14, led by Clarkson's 15 points. D.J. Magley added four points and six rebounds, while Kodi Maduka had three blocks and five rebounds off the bench.
Joe Jackson led Memphis with 16 points, while Tarick Black had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Will Coleman and Will Barton each scored 11 points.
"You have to get offensive rebounds if you're shooting 34-percent on the road," said Wojcik. "We've always done it, but we haven't done it as well this year because normally we're a fairly good shooting team. Tonight we didn't shoot it well, so we changed up and we did what we had to do when you're missing shots, and Joe Richard, Steven Idlet, D.J. Magley and Kodi Maduka put a lot of pressure on them."
The Tulsa defense frustrated Memphis into nine first-half turnovers, and converted 11 offensive rebounds into nine second-chance points, to overcome shooting just 28 percent in the half. Idlet scored 10 points in the first period.
Memphis' largest first-half lead was five points, 12-7, with 14:58 remaining. However, Tulsa immediately hit a three-pointer by Haralson and got a layup from Peete to tie the score with 12:57 left in the half.
The Golden Hurricane used a, 13-4, run to take a four-point, 20-16, lead following a Clarkson three with 6:37 in the period. Memphis regained the lead, 24-23, on a three-pointer by Will Barton with 4:31 on the clock, and took a, 30-27, lead into the locker room at halftime.
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