TU basketball journalist Hannah Robbins discusses the Golden Hurricane’s come-from behind victory over Tulane.
Tulsa managed to bounce back from their tough loss against Temple with a comeback win against Tulane on Thursday after a slow first half. Martins Igbanu and Curran Scott led the Golden Hurricane with 19 points each. Rounding out the high-scorers, Sterling Taplin and Elijah Joiner both added nine points.
While Tulsa won the tip, Scott’s missed three and Taplin’s botched layup left Caleb Daniels open to score a three to start the half. Tulsa continuously failed to capitalize on possessions. The Golden Hurricane got on the board with a Igbanu’s free-throw shortly after but could not maintain any momentum. Daniels hit another layup, and Tulsa’s only response was an additional two free throws by Igbanu.
Tulane continued to charge ahead, scoring nine consecutive points as Tulsa missed eight shots in a row. Halfway through the period, Tulsa finally connected with the basket from the field. Scott’s jumper shrunk Tulsa’s deficit to 14, finally kicking the Golden Hurricane into action.
Igbanu continued to live at the line, and when his layup was quickly followed by a three-pointer from Scott, Tulane’s lead was narrowed to eight. Samir Sehic hit a jumper, but by then, the tide had shifted in TU’s favor.
At this point, Tulsa seemed to stutter, unable to shrink Tulane’s lead further as the Green Wave and the Golden Hurricane went shot for shot. With a little more than four minutes left in the half, Sterling Taplin’s jumper put Tulsa within two of the lead.
Two free throws by Jeriah Horne tied the score, and after Connor Crabtree’s two free-throws in response, Horne hit a three-pointer to give Tulsa the lead for the first time in the game. Sehic hit a layup in the closing minute of the half to put Tulane up by one going into halftime.
As the teams returned for the second half, both seemed energized, staying neck and neck, but Tulane’s energy was short-lived. Moses Wood’s jumper three minutes into the half was the last time Tulane was ahead. Successive layups by Taplin and Igbanu gave Tulsa the lead, and they ran away with it.
Igbanu, Scott and Joiner continued to widen the lead with a pair of free throws, a jumpshot and a three-pointer respectively. Joiner pushed Tulane further away with another jumper, widening Tulsa’s lead to six. Lawson Korita made a layup and Kevin Zhang responded with a dunk. But Tulsa didn’t let it bother them, with DaQuan Jeffries making a layup on the next possession.
Joiner hit another jumper to put Tulsa up by 10, but a layup by Sehic took Tulsa back down to a single digit lead. Tulane tried to stage a comeback with four minutes left, scoring seven unanswered points, but Igbanu hit two layups and a free throw to push the lead back out to 10 points.
Daniels and Jordan Cornish tried to make a play with a minute left in the game, but their jumper and three-pointer respectively didn’t make much of a dent and Tulsa claimed the win 72-64.