Golden Hurricane clips the Owls

Sports editor Jaralynn Tammi Morellano says the Golden Hurricane had a narrow finish.The University of Tulsa’s women’s basketball escaped the clutches of the Rice Owls and prevailed 70-65. Delaine Crawford and Temira Poindexter’s Wednesday night efforts brought 48 of the Golden Hurricane’s points.
“I’m just so proud of our team for the way they finished the game. Things went our way early in the game, we were able to knock down shots and get going in transition,” said Tulsa head coach Angie Nelp.
Though Tulsa sank the first basket of the game, it would have a rough start when starting guard Ahrray Young was subbed out due to injury. Young, who has played a pivotal role in the team’s starting lineup, would not return for the rest of the game. Rice would also lose a key player of its own, Shelby Hayes.
The Golden Hurricane fought on, and by the 3:15 mark of the first quarter, they held a 15-point lead with the score at 18-3. Rice would refuse to lay low and its perseverance whittled away at its gap to end the first quarter 22-10.
Both teams would play an aggressive defense throughout the second quarter, Tulsa only allowing five points while Rice allowed six. The Golden Hurricane would hold the lead for the rest of the half, and two free throw shots from Cam Matthews would give it a 16-point lead. The score sat at 38-22 as the first half concluded.
Tulsa went into the locker room satisfied, having shot 5-of-7 from the three-point range and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. The Rice Owls went into halftime looking to come out from under.
As the third quarter ensued, Rice would show Tulsa that victory was not certain. Poindexter’s three-point shot would put the Golden Hurricane at a 19-point lead, but this lead would only shrink from then on. The Owls turned the court into its own, jumping out with a 14-7 advantage to close the gap 45-36.
Despite Tulsa’s strong start, Rice’s aggressiveness on offense began to stump the Hurricanes and put the gap as close as six points when a three-point play from Emily Kaczek would put the score 49-43. The Owls outscored the Golden Hurricane 21-25 this quarter, but its early lead would put Tulsa 53-43 at the end of it.
The break did anything but slow the Owls down. Rice would go on a 7-0 run to trail the Golden Hurricane 55-52. Rice’s Destiny Jackson would pull off an outstanding performance as she scored nine straight points to keep Tulsa within the Owls’ reach, her baskets kept Rice right behind at 63-61. Owls’ guard Hailey Adams would follow up with a solo play in the paint to tie the score.
Mady Cartwright would sink a crucial basket to regain the lead, but Jackson would fire back with a layup of her own. The audience, a mix of Owls and Golden Hurricane supporters, sat at the edge of their seats as the score sat 65-65 with 41 seconds on the clock.
Crawford, once again, showed her offensive capabilities, drawing two fouls to bring four points to thrust Tulsa into the lead. Cartwright added one more point to the board, securing the victory for the Golden Hurricane. The game brought Tulsa’s record to 15-5.