Hawaii 78, Tulsa 72 (OT)

Sunday, March 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Freshman Carl English made a shot to force overtime, then scored seven points in the extra period to carry Hawaii to a 78-72 victory over Tulsa in the Western Athletic Conference tournament Saturday night.

The victory sends Hawaii (17-13) to the NCAA tournament for just the third time in school history and first time since 1994.

Tulsa (21-11) must hope for a longshot at-large berth to make the tournament for the sixth time since 1994.

English, who averaged 3.9 points during the regular season, finished with a career-high 25. His play made up for poor showings by leading scorers Predrag Savovic, who was saddled with foul trouble, and Troy Ostler, who injured an ankle in the first half.

English hit two free throws with 18.9 seconds left in regulation to get Hawaii within 66-65. After David Shelton made one of two free throws for Tulsa with 14.8 left, English scored on a leaner in close with 1.8 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Dante Swanson scored early in overtime to give Tulsa the lead, but Nerijus Puida and English sank back-to-back 3-pointers to start an 8-0 run that gave Hawaii the lead for good.

Antonio Reed, who scored a career-high 19 for Tulsa, hit a 3 with 1:40 left to get the Golden Hurricane to 75-72. But English made four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Mike McIntyre scored 19 for Hawaii, including five 3-pointers. Shelton had 15 points, and Kevin Johnson 10 points and 10 rebounds for Tulsa.

Hawaii, which has won seven of eight, led 59-51 midway through the second half before Tulsa put together an 11-0 run to take the lead with five minutes left. The Hurricane held the lead the rest of the way until English's big shot with 1.8 seconds left.