Tulsa opened Conference USA play with a resounding 97-71 victory over the Tulane Green Wave Thursday night in front of 3,910 fans at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Tulsa (6-9, 1-0 C-USA) had all five starters score in double-figures as Shaquille Harrison led the way with a career-high 23 points, while D'Andre Wright scored 18 points. Lew Evans had 14, Tim Peete 12 and James Woodard scored 11 points. Tulane (8-8, 0-1 C-USA) had four players with double-digit points, 17 by Louis Dabney, 14 by Jonathan Stark, 13 by Tre Drye and 10 by Jonathan Stark
The 26-point victory was the largest in the Danny Manning era for a Conference USA contest, beating the previous biggest margin of 15 points coming last year at Houston. It also marked the fourth time this season that Tulsa has gone over the 90-point barrier, the most for a Hurricane team since the 2001-02 season.
Manning was pleased with the win and his team's offensive performance, but was wanting a better defensive outing from the Hurricane.
"When you shoot the ball well it makes up for a multitude of sins," Manning said. "For me, when I look at the stat sheet, they shot 48 percent from the field. You're not going to beat a lot of teams if they shoot 48 percent from the field in your own building. Tonight we shot 57 percent and that covers up a lot of things defensively for us. But, defensively we have to do a much better job than 48 percent field goal percentage defense."
Tulsa jumped on Tulane early and built a 28-point halftime lead at 60-32 behind a barrage of three-pointers. The Hurricane connected on 9-of-14 3-pointers for 64 percent and shot 67 percent overall from the field in the first 20 minutes.
The Hurricane cooled down in the second half, shooting 44 percent from the field and only 22 percent from three-point range.
Tulsa increased its 28-point halftime lead to as many as 35 points when Woodard knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:57 remaining in the game to make the score 95-62. Tulane closed out the game on an 11-2 run to cut Tulsa's final win margin to 26 points.
Tulsa had four double-figure scorers at halftime, led by Harrison's 15 points, 12 from Evans and 10 each by Wright and Peete.
Wright's 8-foot jumper gave Tulsa a 2-0 lead to begin the game. The Hurricane took its first double-digit lead on a Peete 3-pointer at the 9:05 mark of the first half giving Tulsa a 30-20 lead. After a Jay Hook jumper cut the Tulsa lead to eight points, the Hurricane went on a 15-3 run over the next four minutes to take a 45-25 with 3:37 remaining.
In the final three minutes, Tulsa outscored the Green Wave 15-7 with five 3-pointers, two each by D'Andre Wright and Steve Repichowski and one trey by Lew Evans for its 28-point halftime lead.
Tulsa's 60 points at halftime was the most first half points for the Hurricane since scoring 60 points in last year's season opener against LSU Shreveport.
Tulsa hosts the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (14-2, 1-0 C-USA) this Sunday at noon.