TU Men’s Basketball Holds Serve With 66-59 Win Over Tulane

TULSA, Okla. – Senior guard Justin Hurtt posted 24 points and junior forward Steven Idlet added 16 points, nine rebounds and a season-high four blocks as The University of Tulsa men’s basketball team defeated Tulane 66-59 Saturday night in front of 5,790 fans at Donald W. Reynolds Center.

The Golden Hurricane (16-12, 9-5 C-) kept pace with the rest of the leaders in Conference , and the team moved into a four-way tie for second place with , Memphis and Southern Miss. leads the league at 10-4 in the conference with two games to play in the regular season. The Blazers travel to Southern Miss March 2 for a pivotal showdown.

Tulane (12-15, 2-12 C-) received a game-high 27 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in 40 minutes from Kendall Timmons, Jordan Callahan added 15 points and Johnny Mayhane dropped 13. Kris Richard, the third-leading scorer, was held without a point but did manage to grab eight rebounds.

The team-high 24 points for Hurtt was the most he’s scored in eight games, and the seasoned veteran finished 6 of 17 from the field and 8-for-10 from the free-throw line.

Junior forward Joe Richard gave Tulsa four points and a season-high 10 rebounds.

TU struggled out the of gates and fell behind 6-2 early, but the Golden Hurricane righted the ship and took its first lead of 10-9 at the 13:35 mark with two free throws from redshirt freshman Kodi Maduka.

Mayhane nailed a three at the 8:21 mark to spark a 12-5 run, giving the visiting Green Wave a 29-23 advantage with five minutes to play in the opening half.

Tulsa flipped the momentum in the final five minutes with a 13-5 run of its own to carry a 36-34 lead heading into intermission.

The Golden Hurricane exploded out of the locker room on a 10-2 run to gain a 46-36 advantage heading into the first media timeout.

The home side carried that advantage all the way until the 3:30 mark, gaining as much as a 13-point lead along the way.

With Tulsa leading 63-52, Timmons, Mayhane and Callahan brought the visiting squad to within four at 63-59 with 48 seconds to play. TU used a staunch defensive effort in the final minute to hold off the late charge and secure the 66-59 victory.

The Golden Hurricane outrebounded the Green Wave 39-28, and TU recorded a season-high nine blocks. Tulane’s bench was held scoreless, while Tulsa’s bench contributed nine vital points.

TU shot 44 percent from the field to just 40 percent from the Green Wave. The home team knocked down seven three-point field goals and connected on 13 of 18 (72 percent) from the free-throw line. Tulane hit six three’s and was just 9-for-16 (56 percent) from the charity stripe.

The 5,790 fans was the second-highest total of the season at the Reynolds Center, behind only the Oral Roberts game Nov. 16 that was broadcast on .

Coach Doug Wojcik collected his 120th-career victory at Tulsa, moving him past Nolan Richardson (1980-85) for second-most wins in school history. Wojcik is now just 17 victories shy of the all-time record currently held by Clarence Iba.

Tulsa is now 6-1 at home during conference play, and the team will play host to Southern Miss in the regular-season finale at 7:05 p.m. March 5.

The Golden Hurricane will next travel to Rice on March 2 for the team’s final regular-season road contest. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston, Texas.

Updated 02-27-2011

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