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Women's Basketball Falls at Florida Gulf Coast, 66-53

Sophomore Tiffani Couisnard scored 11 points.
Sophomore Tiffani Couisnard scored 11 points.
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TULSA WOMEN FALL 90-89 TO UTSA

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Nov. 27, 2009

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FT. MYERS, Fla. - Sophomore forward Tiffani Couisnard scored 11 points and pulled down five rebounds, and senior forward Larrissa Williams added 10 points, but it was not enough as The University of Tulsa women's basketball team fell, 66-53, to Florida Gulf Coast in the FGCU Thanksgiving Classic Friday evening at Alico Arena.

The Golden Hurricane (2-1) dropped its first game of the season, and will get a chance to redeem itself Saturday at 4 p.m. CT against Akron. Live audio can be heard via Hurricane Vision at www.TulsaHurricane.com.

Tulsa put up 64 shots to the Eagles' 44, but shot 33 percent in the game (21-of-64), and 40 percent in the second half. The Hurricane hit just 3-of-20 three-pointers, and 8-of-16 free throws. FGCU, meanwhile shot 43 percent in the game (19-of-44), made nine three-pointers and 68 percent on free throws (19-of-28).

TU outrebounded the Eagles, 44-37, and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds in the game, but was unable to convert on opportunities. The Golden Hurricane also outscored FGCU, 26-14, in the paint and, 19-9, in second chance points.

Eight of Williams points came in the second half, and junior guard Tatum Beer added eight points, hitting a pair of three-pointers. Sophomore guard Chanice Scott contributed six points and five rebounds, and sophomore forward Denise Lewis scored six points and brought down six rebounds.

"We wanted to try to limit the opportunities for Florida Gulf Coast," Tulsa Head Coach Charlene Thomas-Swinson said. "We felt like in the halfcourt, they were just a very good ballclub, so we wanted to spread the floor out as much as we could. We were able to get some steals, capitalizing on (the pressure). From a stats standpoint, we got 64 attempts - 20 more attempts than they did. It's just about being able to knock down those opportunities. I felt like our kids got really good looks. This was a very good Florida Gulf Coast ballclub. They did a very good job defending the isolations that we were trying to run, and they switched very well. Some of our kids didn't know how to handle it. To be able to play on the road and knock down open shots, layups and free throws, is something that you want to capitalize on from a coaching standpoint. We struggled with that a little bit."

Tulsa trailed, 28-23, at halftime, and scored 30 points in the second half to FGCU's 38 points.

FGCU extended its halftime lead to 10 points with a 9-4 run to begin the second half, making the score, 37-27 at the 15:45 mark. The Eagles' lead grew to as much as 13 points at 42-29 with 13:20 remaining, but Tulsa fought back to close the gap to four points, 44-40, with 8:27 left in the game. The 11-2 run was sparked by four points from Williams, three from Lewis and two each from Mayberry and junior Jermaine Kermis.

The Golden Hurricane found itself down by 10 again in the next two minutes, trailing 55-45 with 6:18 left in the game. Tulsa kept fighting until the very end, hitting a trio of buckets and forcing four turnovers in the final minutes.

Tulsa shot just 27 percent in the first half, but only trailed by five points at the break, 28-23. The Golden Hurricane fell behind early, 11-7, but used a 9-3 run over 4:17 to take a 16-14 lead with 8:52 remaining in the half.

FGCU, however, went ahead 18-16 with 6:34 remaining, and closed the half on a 14-7 run over the final eight-and-a-half minutes to take a five-point lead into the locker room.

For all Tulsa basketball news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane. Become a fan of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane page on Facebook - search "Tulsa Golden Hurricane."