TU men's basketball fell 56-47 to Cincinnati, dropping to 21-8 overall and 14-3 in the AAC. Tulsa returns to action Sunday to take on SMU for the conference title.
Cincinnati got the tip, but Tulsa got on the board first with a corner two from Rashad Smith. Smith stayed hot, going up strong in the paint on TU's next offensive possession, tallying two more for his team.
The Bearcats didn't stay behind for long, taking a six-point lead at the 14 minute mark (10-4).
Halfway through the half, TU looked hot on the offensive boards, helping them cut down Cincinnati's lead. Tulsa didn't stay hot, allowing the Bearcats to capitalize off turnovers and second chance points.
After being cold for more than two minutes, Marquel Curtis floated one in the paint between two defenders, helping the Golden Hurricane's effort to stay afloat. By the 4:36 mark, Tulsa looked poor as the team trailed 13-25.
Something sparked the Golden Hurricane in the final minute, because the team began to play like the Tulsa everyone expected to see.
By the the buzzer, Tulsa had managed to cut the Bearcats lead 27-20.
Smith led TU in scoring with six points, while Farad Cobb and Kevin Johnson led all with seven apiece.
The Golden Hurricane finished the half shooting just 28.6 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from behind the arc, and 20 percent from the free throw line. Cincinnati finished the first shooting 46.2 from the field and 42.9 from the three.
Shaq Harrison opened up the second half with a drive down the middle, making it a five-point game.
Five minutes into the half, Tulsa began to fall further behind due to missed buckets and forced turnovers. TU was also having trouble containing Cincinnati's guards, as they scored on nearly every possession.
With 12 minutes left to play, Rashad Ray and James Woodard started a TU rally after knocking down a couple threes. At this point, the Bearcats were only leading 35-31.
Ray stayed hot, keeping Tulsa in close range.
Although TU tried to put up a fight going out, the team fell 56-47 at the final buzzer.