TULSA, Oklahoma -- It may have been an exhibition game, but the Golden Hurricane women's basketball team had to survive a late push from Rogers State to open the season with a 54-50 win Tuesday.
With five minutes left to play in the contest, Tulsa held a comfortable 50-42 lead and looked to cruise to a win. But the Hillcats pushed in the game's closing minutes, and rattled off back-to-back 3-pointers, from Sierra Cornwell and Leah Smith, to cut the lead to one basket in 40 seconds.
Tulsa's Taylor Hooker knocked down a jumper 90 seconds later to push the lead back to four points, however Smith converted on one of two free throws to cut the lead back to three with 2:30 left on the clock.
Logan Froese came up with a steal for Rogers State, but Smith was unable to handle the ball and Taleya Mayberry came up with a steal of her own. Tiffani Cousinard missed a jumper to take a five-point advantage with less than two minutes left in the game. Loren McDaniel fouled Froese on the Hillcats' next trip up the floor, which proved to be a smart move, as the forward was unable to connect on either of the two attempts.
Both teams turned the ball over in the game's closing 90 seconds, and Cousinard converted on a layup with just a minute left on the clock to make it a two-possession game.
Gianna Woods free throw missed the back end of a pair of free throws for Rogers State, effectively closing the door on a comeback.
Mayberry led all scorers with 16 points, but turned the ball over three times, while Chanice Scott turned in a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Woods and Ariani Silvai led the Hillcats with 14 each, with Woods turning in seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals, while Silvai came away with a pair of blocks and a pair of steals.
Tulsa had one more tune up before the regular season begins, taking on the Cameron Aggies at 2 p.m. Saturday.