No. 25 Tulsa 81, UKMC 60

Wednesday, December 29th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Tulsa, coming off an impressive tournament victory in Puerto Rico and in the Top 25 for the first time this season, didn't have a letdown against Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday night. The 25th-ranked Golden Hurricane (12-1) started the second half with a 15-0 run that gave them a 30-point lead on the way to an 81-60 victory.

Tulsa held UMKC sophomore Michael Jackson to seven points, 16 below his average. The Kangaroos (5-6) shot just 41 percent and committed 21 turnovers in their most lopsided loss of the season. "Tulsa is very aggressive," UMKC coach Bob Sundvold said. "Tulsa is a dominant team on defense. You really have to fight it mentally and physically to get yourself into position to make plays. Offensively they're very efficient as well. They've got five to seven guys who can score in double figures. So they've got a lot of nice things going."

Tulsa coach Bill Self was pleased with how his team responded to its first national ranking since February 1997. "We played really well, especially the first 30 minutes," Self said. "I thought our defense was really solid again. If we continue to play defense like that, we'll have a chance most every night." Tulsa led 36-21 at halftime and crushed the Kangaroos, who were coming off an impressive win over Southwest Missouri State, with the second-half salvo. Greg Harrington hit consecutive 3-pointers to start the run, Tony Heard added another and Eric Coley went baseline for a slam dunk. Down 51-21, the Kangaroos made a mild comeback to pull within 53-34 but came no closer.

Harrington led Tulsa with 17 points, followed by Heard with 14 and David Shelton with 11. Guard Terrance Chapman was the only UMKC player in double figures with 11. Harrington, who was named the MVP of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic, has become much more aggressive as the season has progressed. "Coach Self has been on me to keep shooting and I'm looking for my shot a whole lot more," Harrington said. "Before, I was more concerned with getting everyone else involved, but now I realize it's important to get involved myself and that can help the team."

Tulsa built a 10-point lead in the first eight minutes and expanded it to 32-18 before UMKC closed the gap to 36-21 by halftime. Heard scored seven of Tulsa's first nine points, then added a 3 to make it 30-14 with 5:15 left in the half. Tulsa's stifling defense forced 11 first-half turnovers and limited UMKC to 36.4 percent shooting. Tulsa had five blocks and seven steals in the half.

UMKC concentrated on shutting down Tulsa's inside duo of center Brandon Kurtz and Shelton and the Golden Hurricane responded by making eight 3-pointers. UMKC only attempted six 3-pointers, making three. "This game showed our guys that they need to get in the weight room," Sundvold said. "Tulsa is very strong and physical and they made it hard for us to run our stuff."