Tulsa Women's Basketball Drops Narrow Decision to Rice, 76-73
Feb. 8, 2003
Houston - Tulsa senior All-America candidate Allison Curtin scored a game-high 31 points but the Rice Owls staged a come-from-behind victory to upend the Golden Hurricane in the final two minutes, 76-73, at Autry Court.
Tulsa (12-9, 7-3 WAC) erased a three-point halftime deficit early in the second half and led for a majority of the second period. The Hurricane built an eight point lead, 50-42, at the 15:26 mark and held the lead until the final two minutes of the game. Junior Kayla Elliott's jumper with 2:23 remaining in the contest gave TU a 73-70 advantage with 2:39 to go. From there, Rice (9-10, 6-4 WAC) pounded the ball inside to its posts, and after a foul was called on Tulsa senior Alyssa Shriver, Rice's Johnetta Hayes connected on the second of two free throws to cut the lead to 73-71.
The Owls received a shot in the arm when Anne Peck came off the bench to bury back-to-back baskets. Her first jumper tied the game, while her second gave Rice its first lead of the game since the 13:32 mark in the final period. With less than a minute and half to go, Tulsa then turned the ball over on the next two possessions and a Hayes free throw with 23-seconds remaining gave the Owls a three-point lead. On the final possession of the game, Curtin maneuvered around the Rice defense for a final shot, but her game-tying attempt was short.
Curtin exploded out the gate on the offensive end in the opening period. She nailed her first eight field goal attempts and was perfect from the field in the first half with 18 points. Tulsa and Rice traded the lead 10 times and were tied five times. TU shot 43-percent, while the Owls shot 42-percent in the opening period. Rice built seven point leads on two occasions, but the Hurricane managed to trim the deficit to three points each time. The Owls led 36-33 at the intermission.
Tulsa had three players finish in doubles figures. Along with Curtin, Elliott came off the bench and tallied with a season-high 13 points, while sophomore Alison Carney registered 17 points. Classmate LeAnn Upshaw tied Rice's Hayes for game-high honors in rebounding with nine apiece. TU outrebounded Rice, 36-33, and outshot the Owls, 47-percent to 46-percent.
Hayes led three Rice scorers into double figures with 19 points, while Kim Lawson posted 14 points and Elisa Inman added 10 points.
With her 14th point in the first half, Curtin surpassed the 2,000-point plateau and now sits at 2,018 career points. She also finished with five assists and topped 400 assists for her career.
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