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Tulsa Moves On To C-USA Championship Semifinals With 75-67 Win Over Tulane

Tiffani Couisnard
Tiffani Couisnard
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March 14, 2013

Tulsa, Okla. -

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Guard Taleya Mayberry led a balanced Golden Hurricane attack that saw four players finish in double figures as host and sixth-seeded Tulsa defeated No. 3 seed Tulane, 75-67, in the 2013 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Thursday evening in the Tulsa Convention Center. Tulsa has now won eight of their last 11 games.

"It's fun being the coach at Tulsa right now," Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. "It's fun to coach people like Taleya and Tiffani. We have talked with these guys a lot about leaving a program better than you found it and them leaving a legacy. That game was them wanting to leave a legacy. We had to fight, fight really hard, especially in the first half. Tulane was really, really good. They rebounded like crazy, but we came back out in the second half and fought. This team played with a lot of heart, a lot of passion and played like we wanted to keep playing."

Tulsa's has a 7-6 mark in Conference USA Championship play. Wednesday's first round victory was the first time since 2008 that the Golden Hurricane has advanced in the tournament, and with tonight's win, TU has two wins in the tournament, the second most since going 3-0 and claiming the 2006 tournament title.

Mayberry finished the day with 21 points - 16 of which came in the second half on the strength of a 10-of-12 performance from the free throw line. With the win, Tulsa improves to 15-16 on the year and advances to Friday's semifinal round where the Hurricane will face either East Carolina or Southern Miss. Tulane, meanwhile, fell to 22-8 overall.

As a team, the Golden Hurricane posted a 45.3 field goal percentage (24-of-53) while holding Tulane to a .367 clip (22-of-60). Tulane held a 42-35 rebounding advantage, but the game came down to free throws late where Tulsa hit 23-of-32 (.719).

Kelsee Grovey and Mariah Turner were second to Mayberry in scoring with 11 each, and Kadan Brady finished with 10. Forward Tiffani Couisnard paced the Hurricane with 11 rebounds, her 25th career double-digit rebounding contest and 12th this season. Guard Ashley Clark posted a game-high four steals, and both Grovey and Mayberry handed out a trio of assists.

With her starting assignment tonight, Mayberry ties the most career starts by a Tulsa women's basketball player with 111. The mark was previously set by Jillian Robbins from 2003-07.

Tulsa scored the first five points of the ballgame and held a 12-6 lead 6:05 into the contest. Tulane responded with a 19-3 run over the next 5:14 to take 25-15 advantage and led by as many as 11 at 35-24 and again at 37-26 with 2:58 to play in the half. That, however, would be the Green Wave's final points of the frame as Tulsa went on a 6-0 run to make it a five-point affair at the break.

The Golden Hurricane stretched its scoring run to 10 with the first four points of the second half to cut the Green Wave lead to 37-36. Tulane answered with a 7-0 run to go ahead by eight and Tulsa came right back with a 9-0 run to take a 45-44 lead with 13:03 to play. Tulane went back ahead by a point on a pair of Adesuwa Ebomwonyi free throws, but a jumper by Brady on the ensuing possession gave the Hurricane a 47-46 advantage and they would not trail again.

Brady's bucket sparked an 8-0 Tulsa run and Tulane battled back to tie the game at 57-all with 6:29 remaining on the clock. It was all Golden Hurricane the rest of the way as Tulsa outscored the Green Wave 18-7 to come away with the win.

Guard Olivia Grayson led the Green Wave with a game-high 23 points - including four 3-pointers - while chipping in seven rebounds and five assists. Forward Tiffany Dale posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-best 12 rebounds to go with one blocked shot, and both Danielle Blagg and Brittany McDonald had a pair of steals.