Basketball journalist Hannah Robbins discusses the players and strategies that led to Tulsa’s first conference basketball win against the East Carolina Lady Pirates.
On Tuesday the Golden Hurricane snapped a five-game losing streak to surge to a late victory over the East Carolina Lady Pirates. Lead by Kayla Moutry’s 19 points and Rebecca Lescay’s 15, the Golden Hurricane fought back from a sluggish first half on the merits of free throws and key shots.
After the Lady Pirates opened the game with a layup by Taniyah Thompson, the Golden Hurricane responded with three 3-pointers in the first three minutes. The Golden Hurricane’s lead started to narrow as the Lady Pirates began to steal the ball from the Golden Hurricane possession after possession. After going scoreless for three minutes, Lescay was able to hit a jumper to widen Tulsa’s lead slightly with Moutry’s free throw rounding out the quarter.
As the game continued into the second quarter, Thompson scored out of the gate to put the Lady Pirates on top with a jumper, and that set the tempo for the quarter. Tulsa fought back, but scoreless minutes and dozens of missed shots left the Golden Hurricane unable to make any headway. A late shot by Elin Hrafnkelsdottir narrowed Tulsa’s deficit to one.
After halftime, Thompson once again started the quarter with an increase to the Lady Pirates’ lead. From there, the Golden Hurricane and Lady Pirates went shot for shot until Thompson went on a 6-point run midway through the quarter. Moutry and Addison Richards struggled to respond, but it was free throws by Lescay and Kendrian Elliot that put the Golden Hurricane within two as the game entered the fourth quarter.
The fouls continued to run rampant in the fourth quarter, with the first points scored off free throws by Moutry, and Lescay’s layup right afterwards gave the Golden Hurricane the lead for the first time this half. The Golden Hurricane and the Lady Pirates traded, shots, tying the game before Lescay gave Tulsa back the lead halfway into the fourth quarter. Tulsa seemed to stagnate, allowing the Lady Pirates to score 6 unanswered points before the team responded. At the end, it was all Moutry. Her layup gave Tulsa back the lead, and from there, the game was very close. Moutry continued to hit shots and free throws, barely edging out the Lady Pirates after they missed a layup with seconds left that would have tied the game, making the score 58-56.
This game was an opportunity for Tulsa to finally win, but the failures to get into the net for large chunks of the game and the significant amount of points made from free throws begs the question: how will the rest of the season go? The team seems to not be working at their highest level, and this low scoring game shows the kinks that the team is still working out. At this point in the season, the team should be more well-oiled than this, and I hope that the success of Moutry this game will spur the rest of the team into action.