GAME DAY: TU Looks To Avenge Early Season Loss To Cincinnati - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

GAME DAY: TU Looks To Avenge Early Season Loss To Cincinnati

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

You would think for a team with nine seniors, the Tulsa men’s basketball team would have an identity going into the season.

But surprisingly, it's taken the team 25 games to get an identity that can be described in, as Shaq Harrison says, “one word.”

"Toughness, we didn't have that back then so now I think we're going to bring some more toughness," said Harrison.

When Harrison says “back then,” he’s referring to the Golden Hurricane’s 19 point loss to Cincinnati earlier this season.

"It's a redeem thing,” stated Harrison. “It's kind of a pride thing. They went up there and took our souls out."

The change really stuck in a road win at SMU.  Harrison showed flashes of the aggressiveness he showed last year. In addition, there’s the offensive emergence of Pat Birt. In the last four games, he's averaged 23 points.

"It's hard to slide right in right away, so it's kind of worked itself in and it's helped us,” said TU head coach Frank Haith. “We’re better offensively than we've ever been since we’ve been here."

With a new found Tulsa team, three games in six days will test the Golden Hurricane and test their NCAA bubble watch credentials as well.

"They watch TV although they don't talk about us too much,” added Haith. “After the SMU win, you're numbers jump drastically so there is some talk."

But Harrison says he doesn’t focus on the NCAA talk surrounding his team. "I let the media take that; I don't really feed much into that," he said.

A win on Thursday night will help TU’s NCAA argument a lot. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m.

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