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Tulsa Nabs Road Win Over Arkansas-Little Rock

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas -

James Woodard scored a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Rashad Ray tallied 11 points, including eight of Tulsa's final 10, to lead the Golden Hurricane to a 78-73 win at UALR Sunday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center.

Tulsa won its first road game of the season, and its first at Little Rock, to improve its record to 5-3. Shaquille Harrison scored 17 points, and Marquel Curtis put up 10 points for the Hurricane, while Harrison and Ray each tallied five assists. Brandon Swannegan also picked up 10 boards, and added three blocks and two steals with five points.

Woodard connected on five 3-pointers and Stevie Repichowksi poured in three treys, as the Golden Hurricane shot 61 percent from beyond the arc, making 11-of-16 threes. Tulsa shot 51 percent for the game (22-of-43) and outrebounded UALR, 44-32. TU made 23-of-37 free throws (.622), but made their final 10 shot from the foul line, including Ray's eight in a row.

Josh Hagins scored 20 points, and J.T. Thomas tallied 19 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the Trojans (4-3). UALR shot 36 percent from the field (24-of-67), 48 percent from 3-point range (11-of-23) and 70 percent from the free throw line (14-of-20).

“We were really good early (defensively), in our gaps,” Tulsa coach Frank Haith said. “We really didn't want them to drive the ball, and I thought we did a good job of keeping them out of the paint. We limited them to one shot. I thought we rebounded well. We've grown each game. This is our third road game, and I think because of our experience playing in those games, we were able to not get rattled and keep our composure.”

Tulsa extended its 33-25 halftime advantage to 41-31 at the 18:18 mark on a Woodard 3-pointer. The Trojans cut the lead to 43-38, but the Golden Hurricane jumped back out to an 11-point lead at 49-38 with 14:06 to play, on threes by Rashad Smith and Woodard.

UALR used a 10-1 spurt to reduce the TU lead to two points, 50-48, with 10:43 remaining. Curtis then drove in for a layup and sparked a 13-4 run that allowed Tulsa to regain a double-digit lead at 63-52 with 5:49 to play. Curtis scored five points, and Harrison added seven during the run.

After the Trojans cut the lead to 63-58 with 1:58 to play, Woodard hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game – matching his career high – to put Tulsa ahead 66-58. After a UALR three, Harrison made two free throws with 1:01 remaining to make the score 68-61. The Hurricane lead bounced between five and eight points for much of the final minute.

Swannegan sandwiched a fastbreak dunk between four sets of foul shots by Ray in the last minute of the game. UALR made three 3-pointers in a row, and pulled as close as 76-73. Ray made a final pair of free throws, and UALR missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds to reach the final score of 78-73.

“Ray made (free throws) at the end, and Shaq had a nice night at the free throw line,” Haith said. “Those free throws were big. We got the ball in the guys' hands we wanted to get it in, and those guys came through.”

Tulsa shot out to a 6-0 lead at the start of the game on baskets by Harrison, Woodard and Rashad Smith, forcing a timeout by UALR. Woodard extended the lead to 8-0, and the Golden Hurricane led 14-4 before the Trojans made their first field goal of the game with 12:13 left in the half.

The Hurricane held UALR to just seven made field goals in the first half, and a .233 shooting percentage. TU, meanwhile, made 4-of-5 and seven of their first 12 shots from the field. Tulsa put up a .444 field goal percentage (12-for-27) in the opening half, and held a 23-17 rebounding advantage.

Tulsa took its largest lead at 18-6, and led 21-11 on a 3-pointer by Ray. Repichowksi knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half, leading the Hurricane to a 33-25 lead at the break. UALR got as close as 28-25 after a 14-4 run, but a driving layup by Harrison and a trey by Repichowski brought Tulsa to the halftime score of 33-25.

The Golden Hurricane is back in action Wednesday when it plays host to Southeastern Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

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