Freshman James Woodard led four players in double-figures as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane opened the Danny Manning Era with a 110-54 victory over the LSU-Shreveport Pilots in front of 5,689 fans at the Donald W. Reynolds Center Sunday night.
Woodard's 28-point performance was the best opening night for a Tulsa freshman since Shea Seals scored 33 points in a 128-63 victory over Houston Baptist in the 1993 season opener. Woodard ended the night shooting 9-of-12 from the field, 5-of-6 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the free throw line, while adding five rebounds and four assists.
"I thought we came out with great energy," head coach Danny Manning said. "I thought a lot of that had to do with the outstanding crowd. There were a lot of people and a lot of energy in the building and that really helped our guys out especially with the start we got off to. We made some shots early and it snowballed from there.
"We did a pretty good job of sharing the basketball and then it started to stick later on in the first half. It was a nice win for us but we have to continue to get better. There were some times when we were a little bit too sloppy with our play, but it was our first game and we'll continue to tighten those things up."
For the game, the Hurricane shot 52-percent from the field, 50-percent from three-point range and 83-percent from the free throw line, while out-rebounding the Pilots 53-31. Tulsa had 24 assists and forced 18 turnovers, while scoring 25 points off of those LSU-S miscues.
Eleven of Tulsa's 12 players scored in the game as senior Scottie Haralson added 14 points, followed by two more freshmen, D'Andre Wright with 12 points and Rashad Ray with 11 points. Ray also had a team-high six assists, while a fourth freshman Shaquille Harrison had a team-high seven steals. Senior Kauri Black led all rebounders with nine caroms, while adding eight points.
After a 60-25 halftime lead, the Hurricane kept the onslaught going in the second half building its lead to as many as 62 points when Tulsa went ahead 96-34 with 8:15 remaining in the contest.
The visitors held a 5-2 lead at the 18-minute mark before the Hurricane scored nine straight points to take an 11-5 lead in the next 90 seconds. Tulsa increased its' lead to 27-13 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half, then went on a 14-0 lead to take a 41-13 lead at the 6:37 mark.
The Hurricane closed out the half by outscoring the Pilots 19-12 in the final six minutes behind 18-first half points by Woodard. The freshman was perfect in the first half making 5-of-5 field goals, including four three-pointers, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
The biggest first-half lead was the halftime margin of 35 points as the Hurricane had a 60-25 advantage at the intermission.
Tulsa finished the first 20 minutes by shooting 52.9-percent from the field and 61.5-percent from behind the arc, while holding LSU-S to a first-half field goal percentage of .212.