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James Woodard scored all 18 points against Oral Roberts in the second half.
James Woodard scored all 18 points against Oral Roberts in the second half.
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Dec. 22, 2012

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Tulsa, Oklahoma - Freshman James Woodard scored 18 second-half points as Tulsa overcame a 17-point deficit for a 72-68 road victory over cross-town rival Oral Roberts to retain the Mayor's Cup in front of 6,020 fans at the Mabee Center on Saturday afternoon.

Tulsa took its first lead at 61-59 with 4:40 remaining in the game on a Woodard three-point shot. The three-pointer was set-up after Zeldric King put Tulsa to within one-point, 59-58, on a layup, and Rashad Ray stole the inbounds pass to give Woodard an open look on the three-point basket.

"We came out in the second half and clawed and scratched and came away with a win. We were very fortunate and happy to come away, but as a team we have to continue to work to get better. There were some positives in this game just in terms of the determination we showed," said Tulsa Head Coach Danny Manning. "Everybody that played in the game made some type of contribution to the win. For coaches, that doesn't go unnoticed."

Scottie Haralson added 12 points for the Hurricane, followed by the freshmen Ray and King with 11 and 10 points apiece. Ray and King led a Tulsa bench that outscored the ORU bench 30-2. Tulsa shot 62-percent in the second half and 72.7-percent for the game while holding the Golden Eagles to 36.2 percent.

Tulsa snapped a two-game road losing streak to improve its season record to 7-5, while ORU fell to 5-6 on the season. Tulsa increased its series lead to 32-16 in the 48th meeting between the two schools while winning its fourth straight Mayor's Cup game against the Golden Eagles. The comeback win was the second in the last two meetings at the ORU Mabee Center that the Hurricane has overcome a second-half double-digit deficit. On January 20, 2010, Tulsa trailed by 15 points with just over 17 minutes to play and came back for a 57-52 victory.

ORU had a 13-point halftime lead and increased that to 17 points for its largest lead of 45-28 at the 16 minute timeout. The Hurricane came out of the timeout and scored the next nine points to cut the Golden Eagle lead to single digits, 45-37, on Haralson's three-pointer at the 13:34 mark.

ORU's Shawn Glover `s two-point basket put ORU back ahead by 10 points, 47-37, with 12:51 on the clock. With the Golden Eagle lead back over 10 points, Woodard's three-pointer at the 10:28 mark cut the lead back to eight points at 51-43, then Haralson followed with a layup to cut it to six pints, 51-45. Kauri Black's tip-in off his own missed shot brought it to four points at 51-47. After two free throws by ORU's Glover, Tulsa's Ray hit a three-pointer to bring the Hurricane to within three points at 53-50.

Woodard's driving layup with 7:26 on the clock brought Tulsa to within one point at 53-52. Tulsa tied the game for the first time since 14:17 of the first half on a King layup at the 6:28 mark. Damen Bell-Holter's traditional three-point play put ORU back ahead by three points at 57-54 with 6:07 to play.

Tulsa took its first lead of the game when Woodard knocked down that three-pointer at at the 4:40 mark. Niles' two free throws knotted the score at 61 with 4:20 left. The score was tied again at 63 and 65.

Ray's two free throws put Tulsa ahead 67-65 with 1:52 remaining on the game clock. Niles made one-of-one at the line, keeping Tulsa ahead by one point at 67-66 with 73 seconds on the game clock.

Swilling knocked down a three-pointer at 0:53 to give the Hurricane a 70-66 lead, a Tulsa foul put Glover on the line where he made both freebies and cut it to two-points at 70-68. Woodard made one of two at the line for a 71-68 Tulsa lead.

Manning talked about Woodard's play in the second half when the freshman 7-of-10 field goals.

"James got into the paint in the second half. He came off ball screens and got into the paint, forced help and kicked it out to our shooters in the corners, and made shots. That's wht we need him to do. He can shoot the ball well, but we really like for him to slash to the paint and get in there and attack the rim.

In Tulsa's second half comeback the Hurricane shot 56-percent on 5-of-9 from behind the arc after hitting only 2-of-9 in the first half. Tulsa also had 10 second-half assists, while committing only five turnovers.

The two teams started the game exchanging baskets until with the score tied 9-9, the Golden Eagles went on an 11-2 run to take a 20-11 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the first half. Tulsa scored the next four baskets to cut the ORU lead to one point, 20-19. In the stretch, the Hurricane got two baskets each from King and Black.

A three-pointer from ORU's Warren Niles at the 6:16 mark stopped Tulsa's 8-0 run for a 23-19 lead, and prompted the Eagles onto a 12-2 run to take a 32-21 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.

ORU took a 13-point lead, 38-25, into halftime as the Golden Eagles scored 18 points to Tulsa's three points over the final 6:16 of the first half. In the first half, Niles led ORU with 13 points, while Swilling at five points to lead Tulsa's first-half scoring.

In first-half action, ORU scored 11 second-chance points to Tulsa's three. Despite the 13-point halftime lead, ORU shot only 39.5 percent, as Tulsa shot 42-percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Tulsa returns to the court after Christmas Day with a December 29th neutral site game against the Florida State Seminoles in The Orange Bowl Classic. Game time is 1:00 pm (CT) from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

For tickets to Tulsa home games, go online at www.TulsaHurricane.com or call 918.631-GoTU (4688). Tulsa returns to home to the Donald W. Reynolds Center on January 2nd for a 7:05 tipoff against the University of Buffalo.