Four Tulsa players scored in double-digits as the Golden Hurricane jumped out early and cruised to an 86-39 victory over the Rogers State Hillcats Thursday night in front of 438 fans at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. A total of 11 of Tulsa’s 13 players scored in the game, while all but one played double-figure minutes in Tulsa’s first of two exhibition games.
Erika Wakefield had a game-high 16 points, followed by freshman Shug Dickson with 15, Alexis Gaulden, another freshman who played at nearby Broken Arrow High School, added 13 and senior Ashley Hughes tallied 10 points. Freshman Kendrian Elliott had a team-high 10 rebounds, while adding nine points. Rogers State was led by Natasha Kindred’s 11 points.
The Hurricane out-rebounded RSU 47-34 and forced the Hillcats into 26 turnovers, while being credited with 17 steals. Tulsa shot 45-percent from the field and after hitting 6-of-15 three-pointers in the first half, cooled off and went 0-of-6 in the second 20 minutes.
Tulsa had a 23-point lead after one quarter, extended that lead to 31 points by intermission for a 49-18 halftime lead and was ahead by 44 points after three quarters of play.
“I was so excited about the energy we had tonight. I can’t remember a first five minutes of a game that we came out with that type of energy, that kind of competitiveness and that kind of aggressiveness,” said Tulsa Head Coach Matilda Mossman. “Everybody on our team played well. We were able to get everyone good minutes.”
The Hurricane began the second half on a 19-3 run to take a 68-21 advantage with 4:29 left in the third period, as seven different Tulsa players scored during that stretch. Tulsa took a 50-point lead at 80-30 with 4:57 remaining in the game, and closed out the contest with a 47-point win.
Rogers State scored the game’s first point on a free throw at the 9:04 mark before the Hurricane put up the next eight points for an 8-1 lead. Tulsa extended that lead to 23 points by the end of the first quarter as Crystal Polk’s layup off a rebound with 0:01 remaining put Tulsa ahead 28-5 at the break.
Tulsa held the Hillcats to just one point in the first 4:28 of the second quarter, while scoring 10 points in that span to take a 38-6 lead on an Ashley Hughes three-pointer at the 5:43 mark.
RSU’s Courtney Smith’s three-pointer at the 5:32 mark made the score 38-9 and began a stretch that saw the Hillcats score 12 points to Tulsa’s 11 to close out the first half, but the Hurricane still holding a comfortable 49-18 lead.
In the first half, Tulsa shot 48.6 percent from the field and knocked down 40-percent of its three-pointers, while pressuring RSU to 25-percent from the field and just 14.3 percent from behind three-point range. Wakefield led all first-half scorers with 12 points, while Gaulden had nine and Dickson scored eight points.
Tulsa’s final exhibition contest is against Southern Nazarene next Thursday, Nov. 3, with a 7:00 p.m. tipoff at the Reynolds Center.