The Tulsa basketball team sprinted to a 113-70 victory over Panhandle State in the final exhibition contest today before opening up the regular season a week from tonight at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. The 113 points is the most a Hurricane team has scored in an exhibition game since 1993 when Tulsa tallied 132 points against Fort Sill.
The game was quite a contrast from Tulsa's first exhibition game a week ago when the Hurricane scored just 60 points. Tulsa used pressure defense, a ‘push the ball up the floor' attitude and a stellar shooting percentage for the 43-point victory in front of a crowd of 3,688 fans Sunday afternoon.
"It was a very nice afternoon. Obviously we shot the ball better than we did the first game. We missed layups in this game, but we made more layups than we missed in the first game. We got out in transition. We were active defensively, and we were able to push the ball up in transition and score a lot on broken floor-type plays," said Tulsa Head Coach Danny Manning.
After a five-point game at halftime where Tulsa held a 50-45 lead, the Hurricane outscored Panhandle State 63-25 in the second half.
Six Tulsa players scored in double-figures and 11 of the 12 players scored at least one point. Freshman James Woodard led the attack with a game-high 23 points and added five assists, while fellow freshman guard Shaquille Harrison tallied 18 points and had a team-high four steals. Seniors Scottie Haralson and Kauri Black added 15 and 13 points, respectively. Sophomore Shad Smith had 12 points and freshman D'Andre Wright scored 11 points for the Hurricane.
Panhandle's State's Damari Hill had a team-high 12 points for the Aggies.
Tulsa shot 62.7-percent from the field and 55.6-percent from three-point range, while outrebounding the Aggies 43-33 and forcing 23 turnovers. All of Tulsa's three-point baskets came from three players –– Woodard, Harrison and Haralson –– combining for 10-of-16 shooting. The Hurricane defense helped hold Panhandle State's shooting percentages to 37-percent from both the field and three-point range.
With its five-point halftime lead, Tulsa came out of the locker room and went on a 14-3 run in the first three minutes to take a 64-48 lead at the 16:56 mark. From there Tulsa just kept adding to its lead, reaching a 20-point margin at 72-51 on a Woodard jumper with 14:13 remaining in the game. Three minutes later at 11:13 Tulsa's lead reached 31 when Woodard knocked down a three-pointer to make the score 85-54.
Black's layup with 4:13 left in the contest put Tulsa ahead by 40 points, 105-65, then the Hurricane tallied eight more points for its final 43-point victory.
In the first half, Tulsa scored the first five points of the game in the first 40 seconds. Panhandle State cut Tulsa's lead to one point twice early in the first stanza at 9-8 and 11-10. The Hurricane went on an 8-10 to turn an 11-10 lead into a 19-10 lead at the 15:03 mark.
Tulsa led by as many as 13 points in the first half, 30-17, but the Aggies kept after the Hurricane and narrowed the lead to five points at the intermission.
Nine Tulsa players scored in the first 20 minutes, led by Harrison's eight points while Black, Woodard and Wright each had seven points.
"We talked about defensive field goal percentage, doing a better job on the glass, making sure that we ran. And not just run to get shots, but make sure we kept pressure on them by running up the court every time. That started to benefit us, especially in the second half when we went on our little run. The guys played hard and we're happy with the improvements made from the first game to the second game. We have a very long way to go, but we were encouraged," added Manning.
"Our overall energy was a lot better, I felt. Guys shared the ball, and I enjoyed seeing the joy on guys' faces on when their teammate was able to have some success," Manning said.
The Danny Manning Era officially begins on Sunday, November 11, as the Hurricane opens the regular season against LSU Shreveport. Game time is 7 pm.