Four Tulsa players scored in double figures to lead the Golden Hurricane to a 74-63 comeback victory over East Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C. TU moved to 9-10 on the season and 4-4 in the American Athletic Conference, while ECU fell to 13-7 overall and 4-5 in the league.
“The second half was fun to watch,” Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. “We went into the lockerroom down 10, but we didn't feel that bad about how we played. I think that was the best help-side defense we've played all year long. We were just in the right place, right time. I think our team did a good job of executing. This is the team we thought we have had all year long.”
Ashley Clark had a team-leading 23 points, 17 of which came in the second half, and six rebounds, while Mariah Turner added 19 points, and Teanna Reid and Kadan Brady each tallied 11 points. Turner and Reid each had three steals, and Reid had a team-best five assists.
“We wanted Mariah to be more aggressive and she did that when you look at her 14 shot attempts and the fact that she went to the free throw line 12 times,” Mossman added. She is touching the ball a lot more. She wanted the ball, she knew what to do when she caught it and she was being aggressive.”
Tulsa went from a 10-point deficit at the break to an 11-point win, a 21-point swing in the second half.
Tulsa came out fired up in the second half, going on a 10-0 run to start the frame and tie the game at 35-all at the 16:43 mark. Both teams traded baskets to tie the game at 37-37, but Grovey hit a three at 15:26 to give TU back the lead.
The game was tied at 49-all when Jasmine Phillips scored on a layup, but Brady countered with a three-pointer with 7:59 left to play and TU never relinquished the lead. The Golden Hurricane climbed to a game-best 13-point advantage with just 29-seconds to play.
Tulsa shot 44-percent from the field, 43-percent from behind the arc and 63-percent from the free throw line, while ECU was 47-percent from the field, including just 11-percent from three-point range, and 71-percent from the charity stripe.
East Carolina had a 42-28 advantage in rebounds, while Tulsa had a 12-8 lead in steals and allowed just 14 turnovers compared to ECU's 24 turnovers.
ECU had 44 points in the paint, compared to TU's, while the Hurricane had 21 points off turnovers and 23 points off the bench, while the Pirates had 13 points off turnovers and 17 points off the bench.
The Pirates were led by I'Tiana Taylor with 20 points and 18 rebounds, while Jasmine Phillips and Jada Payne each tallied 10 points. Janesha Ebron had eight assists.
Tulsa jumped out to a 4-0 lead as Ashley Hughes hit a three-pointer and Turner added a free throw, but Chapple tied the game at 6-6 with 14:38 on the clock and then scored the go-ahead basket less than a minute later to spark a 13-2 run by the Pirates. ECU climbed to a 13-point advantage (33-20) with just 2:50 left to play in the first half and took a 10-point lead into the break (35-25).
Taylor had a team-best 10 points and nine rebounds for the Pirates, while Turner and Clark each had six points and Erika Wakefield tallied three boards in the first frame.
Tulsa will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 28 against SMU. Game time is set for 7:00 pm at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.