TULSA, Okla., January 16, 2010 – Despite a team-high 22 points from Mustafa Shakur, the Tulsa 66ers fell 97-91 to the Erie BayHawks in front of a raucous crowd Saturday night at the Tulsa Convention Center.
“We gave ourselves a chance, we just didn’t make the plays we needed to win the game,” 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts said. “The good thing about having back-to-back games is we have another chance to come out tomorrow and get a win.”
The 66ers darted out to a quick 3-0 lead to start the game after a Chris Richard three-point play, but the BayHawks subsequently went on a 6-0 run and jumped out to a nine point edge at 24-15 at the end of the first quarter. Frank Tolbert led the BayHawks with eight first quarter points as they shot 50 percent in the period, while the 66ers shot 32 percent.
A Jackie Manuel jumper and Ivan Harris three-pointer pushed the BayHawks lead to 29-16 with 9:46 remaining in the first half. Tulsa managed to cut the lead to seven following a 10-4 run capped by a Deron Washington three-pointer with 5:35 remaining, but eight made free throws by Erie pushed their lead back to 14 points at 44-30 with 2:41 left in the half. Both defenses were stout in the second quarter, holding the 66ers to 6-for-21 shooting from the field, while the BayHawks were 4-for-13 as they took a 46-37 edge into halftime.
Another 10-5 run by the 66ers midway through the third quarter cut the BayHawks lead to 59-58 after a Latavious Williams lay up with 4:17 remaining. Two three-pointers on the next two possessions for Erie by Harris and Cedric Jackson pushed the lead back to seven. Jackson scored 14 points in the quarter, as the BayHawks took a 72-66 edge into the final quarter.
Deron Washington scored eight points in the midst of a 10-2 run during the fourth quarter for Tulsa, as the 66ers managed their first lead since early in the first quarter at 88-87 with 3:42 remaining in the game. The BayHawks shot 7-of-9 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the win.
Led by Shakur, the 66ers (11-8) finished with six players scoring in double-figures. Washington finished with 17 points and five rebounds off the bench, while Zabian Dowdell had 15 points, six boards and five assists. Moses Ehambe added 12 points off the bench, Richard had 10 points and five rebounds, and Larry Owens finished with his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The BayHawks (9-12) were led by Jackson with 29 points and seven assists, while Alade Aminu finished with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Manuel added 15 points and six rebounds, and Tolbert added 14 points and seven boards.
Both teams match up in the second game of the back-to-back series tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Tulsa Convention Center.