TULSA CAGES COUGARS 76-63
March 7, 2013
Tulsa, Oklahoma -
Sophomore Kadan Brady scored a career-high 18 points in helping send-off the Tulsa senior class to a 76-63 victory over the Houston Cougars in their final game at the Donald W. Reynolds Center Thursday night.
Tulsa closes the regular season with an overall 13-16 record and an 8-8 Conference USA mark, while Houston fell to an identical 13-16 overall record and 7-9 in league play. The Conference USA Basketball Championship for the women begins next Wednesday at the Tulsa Convention Center.
Tonight, the senior class was led by Taleya Mayberry's 18 points, followed by Tiffani Couisnard's eight points and two by Jessica McQuin. A pair of freshman, Kelsee Grovey and Ashley Clark, also scored in double digits for Tulsa with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Houston was led by Yasmeen Thompson's 17 points and Marche' Amerson's 16 points.
"When you finish the half with two of your starters on the bench with foul trouble, somebody has to step up and Kadan stepped up big and hit shots. The big thing was feeling confident," said Tulsa Head Coach Matilda Mossman. "Ashley Clark helped us tremendously on the boards, and she was looking to attack the basket, which is what we want to do. All-in-all I thought our kids played together really, really well."
Leading by two points at halftime, 32-30, Tulsa scored the first seven points in just the initial 79 seconds of the second half to take a 39-30 lead. Houston cut the Tulsa lead to four points at 41-37 with 15:48 left on the game clock, but the Hurricane kept the visitors at bay by converting on the offensive end.
Brady knocked down three treys in a 3:22 stretch as her first three-pointer came at the 13:22 mark to put the Hurricane ahead by 11 points. Brady gave Tulsa a 12-point lead, 51-39, on her second trey, and added her third straight three-pointer to keep the Hurricane ahead by eight points at 54-46 with 10 minutes left in the contest.
Grovey's three-pointer at the 5:03 mark gave Tulsa a double digit lead at 68-56 that the Hurricane would never relinquish the rest of the game. Brady knocked down her fourth three-pointer of the half to put the Hurricane ahead 71-56 with 4:34 on the clock. The sophomore had a layup at the 3:46 mark to give Tulsa its largest lead of 17 points at 73-56.
After converting only 2-of-7 three-pointers in the first half, the Hurricane scorched the nets in the final 20 minutes by connecting on 6-of-9 treys for 67-percent.
Tulsa ended the first half with a 32-30 lead after leading by as many as eight points three times in the first 20 minutes. Couisnard opened the scoring for the Hurricane with a layup 0:12 into the contest. Tulsa's lead was kept within four points in the first 14 minutes. Brady had consecutive driving layups to put the Hurricane ahead 27-19 at the 5:07 mark.
Houston then out-scored Tulsa 11 to three in the over the next four plus minutes to tie the game at 30-30 with 0:40 left on the first-half clock. Two McQuin free throws gave Tulsa the two-point lead at halftime.
Mayberry had a game-high 13 points in the first half for the Hurricane, while Houston's Thompson scored 12 points. The Cougars had a 10-rebound advantage on the boards, 28-18 in the first half, but points in the pain were even at 16 points apiece. Tulsa had 10 fast-break points in the first 20 minutes.
Mossman talked about the Tulsa senior class after the game.
"When you have a coaching change, it is easy as a player to not buy in or maybe feel cheated a little bit, but these guys have been accepting of us from the very beginning and have done everything that we've asked. They've let us coach them and lead them, and I just hope we can end things in a big way for them," said Mossman.
The C-USA Basketball Championships runs from March 13-16 at the Tulsa Convention Center and BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. The women's championship bracket will be announced followed Saturday's games.
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