Tulsa blew a nine-point lead late in the second half, resulting in a 47-42 loss to UConn in the AAC semifinals.
UConn landed the tip, but Tulsa got on the board first with a jumper off the dribble from James Woodard. Shaquille Harrison then got the and 1 to give the Golden Hurricane a 5-0 lead just minutes into the game.
The Huskies struggled to score as Tulsa ran the floor and banged the boards. That was until Ryan Boatright knocked down a deep three, finally posting a score for UConn. Boatright stayed lit, guiding his team to a 13-11 lead with 8:17 before the half.
If Tulsa would've capitalized on more offensive possessions while UConn was cold, it would've put them in a much better spot. The team would've at least been leading by ten or more at this point, but missed buckets under the rim came back to haunt them.
The Huskies kept the lead, but TU stayed in close range, trailing by only one at the four minute mark (17-16).
Brandon Swannegan then attracted a foul on an attempted hook shot, helping Tulsa regain the lead at the free throw line. Woodard extended that lead 21-17 with a three-pointer.
By the end of the low-scoring first half, Tulsa led 23-19.
TU opened the second half extending its lead 30-23, still killing UConn on the boards.
Another three from Boatright later cut Tulsa's lead 32-28 with 9:55 on the clock. D'Andre Wright answered with an uncontested dunk, advancing Tulsa's small cushion to six. At this moment, defense and hope controlled the game; because neither team looked too hot offensively, hence the 40-33 score in the final stretch. Tulsa didn't have one player in double-digits, and Boatright was just about the Huskies only shot at winning.
With just under two minutes before the end, Boatright hit another clutch three, tying the game 41-all. Shortly after, UConn's Rodney Purvis hit the go-ahead bucket, clinching a one-point lead.
With 39 seconds left to play, Tulsa trailed by just one point (43-42).
The tussle continued, until the Golden Hurricane fell 47-42 at the final buzzer. The Huskies 14-1 run in the final few minutes, likely ended Tulsa's NCAA tournament chances.
UConn will now move on to play SMU in the AAC championship game on Sunday.