Tulsa's Comeback Bid Falls Short at SMU, 64-61
Jan. 25, 2003
Dallas - Tulsa senior Allison Curtin scored a game-high 19 points, but the Hurricane's comeback bid came up short against SMU as the Mustangs prevailed, 64-61, in Western Athletic Conference play at Moody Coliseum.
Trailing by six points with 1:40 left in the game, Curtin scored five straight points on a three-pointer with 1:03 remaining in the game. After a foul on TU and a missed free throw by SMU, Curtin then pulled the Hurricane to within a point with a lay-up with 29-seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, TU was forced to foul and SMU's Kendall Shead connected on 1-of-2 attempts to give the Mustangs a two-point advantage. With Tulsa in control of the ball, Curtin dribbled right, then behind her back and drove to the basket. She pulled up midway through the lane and attempted a game-tying shot. However, Curtin was called for a controversial charge and fouled out of the game with 14-seconds showing on the clock.
The Hurricane was forced to foul and sophomore Megan Moody's potential game-tying three was long and the Mustangs corralled the ball as well as the victory.
For Tulsa, which dropped to 10-8 and 5-2 in WAC play, freshman Kara Pongonis finished behind Curtin in scoring with a career-high 15 points on five three-pointers. Sophomore Alison Carney grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds, the second-best effort in school history, and helped TU outrebound SMU, 49-45. Curtin added 11 rebounds for her 15th career double double and also contributed seven assists and four steals.
SMU (11-6, 5-2 WAC) had three players reach double figures in scoring, including Sarah Davis' team-best 17 points. Shanta Ramdhanny and Kaci Alexander chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively. Alexander also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
SMU led at intermission 31-26 and opened the second half with a 5-0 run to take a 10-point lead. However, Curtin and Pongonis teamed up to rally the Hurricane and tie the contest with a 10-0 run. Pongonis nailed two three-pointers on the run, while Curtin added two baskets. Junior Candice Brewer gave Tulsa the lead for the first in the second period with a trey at the 13:38 mark. TU led for the next six minutes before the Mustangs regained the lead. The two teams battled back and forth before Curtin's mysterious charging call squashed any hopes of a TU win.
The first half opened with a very fast pace as both teams pushed the ball up and down the floor. The Mustangs took a quick 8-5 lead early on, but Carney responded with five straight points to give Tulsa a 10-8 advantage. Although Tulsa held the lead on three occasions, the first half featured five ties and five lead changes. Trailing Tulsa midway through the first period, SMU responded with three treys from Davis over the course of the final 10 minutes. Davis tallied 13 first half points, while Carney countered with seven points and seven rebounds for TU.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first period. SMU shot 36.1 percent, while TU managed just 31.3 percent. The Golden Hurricane controlled the boards by a slim 26-21 advantage.
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