Last Tuesday, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane played the Tulane Green Wave at the Donald W. Reynolds Center, finally winning their first home game this month as they pulled away 72-66 to snap a three-game losing streak.
The game started out going back and forth, as Tulsa and Tulane exchanged scoring in roughly equal portions for the first eight minutes of the game. At this point, the game was tied at 10 points each. After this, Brandon Rachal made two free throws, and Tulsa took the lead. Throughout the rest of the first half, both teams continued to score, but Tulsa slowly began to compile a lead over their opponent. At the halftime break, Tulsa led the game by a score of 30-22.
Coming back from the halftime break, Tulane went on a quick 5-2 run and came within three points of Tulsa. But after two made free throws by Elijah Joiner, Tulsa extended their lead back to a more comfortable spot. However, for the next few minutes, Tulane hung around and kept Tulsa’s lead around three points, constantly threatening to take the lead for themselves. After the next three minutes, Tulsa was able to increase their lead due to eight straight points from Darrien Jackson. As the half continued to progress, Tulsa’s lead extended to as large as eighteen points. Tulane then began making a comeback after this impressive stretch and, while they ended up unable to win the game, brought the scoring difference to just six points at the end of regulation. The final score was 72-66, giving Tulsa its first win in February this season.
After the game, when Tulsa coach Frank Haith was speaking to the media, he said, “We really competed and we played hard on defense. We just weren’t shooting it great in first half, but our defense was really carrying us. We got to an 18-point lead in the second half, then there was a stretch we missed some easy buckets and they made some baskets. I was proud of our effort. I think we got back to Tulsa basketball tonight. To win, this team has to play defense. We have to take care of the controllables and we did that.”
Elijah Joiner led the game’s scoring for the Golden Hurricane with 17 points, including 14 second half points. Brandon Rachal followed with 13 points, Darrien Jackson with 11 points and Austin Richie with ten 10 points.
After the last week of American Athletic Conference (AAC) basketball play, Tulsa is in sixth place with a 10-9 overall record and a 7-7 AAC record. Wichita State is leading the division with a record of 9-2 and, since Tulsa is in sixth place, they are behind Wichita State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Cincinnati.