Originally Published: Feb 16, 2010 6:18 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Reporter
TULSA, Oklahoma – After posting a career-high 21 points against the Memphis Tigers Saturday night, Tulsa senior forward Bishop Wheatley couldn’t find a reason to smile.
“We have to bottle this up,” Wheatley said during postgame interviews. “We need to use this to get a good seed in the conference tournament.”
Twenty minutes earlier, Wheatley and his teammates walked off the floor at the Reynolds Center with their heads buried under their sweat-soaked jerseys. The Golden Hurricane’s 23-game home winning streak came to an end after Memphis closed out the game with a flurry of clutch shots.
Wheatley, however, elevated his play when his team needed it the most. Normally a stop-gap type of player who splits time with freshman guard Bryson Pope, Wheatley played 30 minutes against the Tigers. He poured in double-digit points for the third time this season, and played well against a top tier conference opponent.
“He really stepped up. He did a nice job,” said TU head coach Doug Wojcik. “I thought he and Ben Uzoh played big time.”
Wheatley saw his playing time slip after the first few weeks of the season, and averaged just three points per game in his first eight conference games. He bounced back in a big way on Saturday, making 10-of-18 shots, and finishing the game with four offensive rebounds and two assists. His hard work in practice looks to have paid off after a career day against Memphis.
“I tried to do my best,” said Wheatley. “After I knocked a couple down, I started feeling pretty good. So, they just started stringing together.”
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