Tulsa, Okla., January 28, 2010 – Despite career-highs of 18 points and 18 rebounds from Latavious Williams, the Tulsa 66ers fell to the Iowa Energy 107-104 Thursday night at the Tulsa Convention Center.
“I was proud of our effort tonight, our guys played very hard,” 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts said. “Iowa is a good team and they made some plays down the stretch. We will have to be ready tomorrow.”
In a game that saw 17 lead changes and 11 ties, the first quarter seemed to be a snapshot of the entire contest. Each team matched the others baskets until a Deron Washington lay up put the 66ers ahead 12-8 with 7:49 remaining in the quarter. An Energy 9-1 run capped by two Mark Tyndale free throws with 5:14 left gave Iowa a 17-15 edge. The 66ers battled back with a 6-0 run of their own, led by four points by Williams, but the Energy took a 24-21 lead into the break. The 66ers held the Energy to 7-for-23 shooting, but Iowa held the edge at the free throw line in the period, going 10-for-12 compared to 3-for-5 for Tulsa.
A Williams lay up that tied the game at 32 with 8:05 left in the first half, sparked a 12-5 run over the next five minutes for the 66ers, giving them a 44-37 lead after a Washington three-pointer. Williams scored seven points and grabbed seven boards in the quarter, as the 66ers shot 50 percent (10-20) compared to 35 percent (7-20) for the Energy. Tulsa took a 48-43 advantage into halftime.
Tulsa held their lead until just under the two minute mark of the third quarter, after a 7-0 Energy run was capped off by a Curtis Stinson lay in, giving Iowa the lead at 73-72. Two made free throws by Shy Ely and two by Courtney Sims gave the Energy a 77-74 edge heading into the final quarter. Led by Pat Carroll’s nine third quarter points, the Energy shot 12-for-22 in the period.
Down by six at 100-94 with 3:32 remaining in the game, the 66ers battled back with a 10-1 run as Cecil Brown connected on two three-pointers, a free throw and a jumper to give Tulsa a 104-101 lead with 1:11 left. But two turnovers late by the 66ers left the door open for Othyus Jeffers to hit two key jump shots that sealed the win for the Energy. Brown scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, as Tulsa shot 11-for-18 from the field in the period.
Led by Brown and Williams, the 66ers (12-11) finished with seven players scoring in double-figures. Chris Richard had 14 points and seven rebounds, while Mustafa Shakur had his fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and a season-high 14 assists. Moses Ehambe added 13 points off the bench, while Washington finished with 12 points and Larry Owens added 11.
The Energy moved to 21-5 on the season, led by Tyndale with 20 points and eight boards. Carroll finished with 18 points, while Jeffers contributed 16. Sims added 14 points off the bench and Stinson had 11 points and seven assists for Iowa.
Both teams match up in the second game of the back-to-back set tomorrow night at the Tulsa Convention Center, tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.