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TU Closes On 20-3 Run To Top Rice, 69-50

Senior center Steven Idlet scored 18 points to lead TU to a triumph over Rice. He is now just five points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career.
Senior center Steven Idlet scored 18 points to lead TU to a triumph over Rice. He is now just five points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career.
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Feb. 18, 2012

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TULSA, Okla. - Senior center Steven Idlet and sophomore guard Jordan Clarkson combined for 41 points to lead the Tulsa men's basketball team to a 69-50 victory over Rice Saturday night in front of a season-high 5,511 fans at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

With losses by both Southern Miss (22-5, 9-3 C-USA) and Memphis (19-8, 9-3 C-USA) tonight, the Golden Hurricane (16-11, 9-4 C-USA) moved within a half-game of first place in the Conference USA standings.

Clarkson equaled his career high with 23 points and notched double figures in the score sheet for the 24th-straight game. Idlet pumped in 18 points in 18 minutes as TU defeated the Owls (15-12, 6-6 C-USA) for the 12th-straight time. Idlet is now just five points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career.

Sophomore guard Tim Peete added seven points and a career-high eight rebounds.

Tulsa shot 43 percent from the field, knocked down 8 of 16 (50 percent) from behind the arc and converted 21 of 26 (81 percent) from the free-throw line. The home team also outrebounded Rice 41-27 and led in bench points (28-8), second-chance points (15-4) and points in the paint (22-16).

Connor Frizzelle led Rice with 11 points, and Omar Oraby had 10. The Owls shot 33 percent from the field, while shooting just 4-for-15 (27 percent) from three-point territory and 10-for-14 (41 percent) from the charity stripe.

Tulsa appeared to be in control for much of the first half, but the home side found itself trailing 21-20 with 6:55 to play due to early hot shooting from the visitors.

Rice began to go cold from the field, and the Golden Hurricane was able to mount a 7-0 run to take a 26-21 advantage at the 5:27 mark.

Idlet rattled home a jumper from the free-throw line on TU's final possession of the half to stretch the lead to seven, but Rice's Dylan Ennis banked in a half-court heave at the buzzer to head into intermission down 33-29.

Tulsa pushed the lead to 44-34 four minutes into the second stanza, but Rice was able to chip away and get within two (49-47) at the under-8 media time.

Idlet scored six-straight points for Tulsa - all from the free-throw line - to spark a 20-3 to close out the game.

The final was punctuated by an Idlet dunk with a minute to play, and the Golden Hurricane secured the 69-50 victory.

Rice forward Arsalan Kazemi entered the game averaging 12.5 points and a league-high 11 rebounds, but he was held without a field goal. He scored just two points (both coming from the free-throw line) and grabbed just six rebounds.

The Golden Hurricane returns to action at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at Tulane.