Defense drives TU win over OD
Tulsa kept pace in Conference USA with a 76-37 victory over the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday afternoon.
The defense was smothering.
Tulsa held Old Dominion to the fewest points allowed for an opponent since holding Rice to 37 points on Feb. 20, 2008. It’s the fourth time since the opening of the Reynolds Center that the Hurricane has held an opponent to under 40 points (Rice, 75-33, Feb. 14, 2000; Rice, 68-37, Feb. 20, 2008; Jackson State, 92-39, Dec. 17, 2009). The Hurricane also held ODU’s leading scorer, Aaron Bacote, averaging 16.6 points coming into the game, scoreless in 26 minutes.
Tulsa improved to 8-3 in Conference USA and moved to over .500 for the first time this year with an overall 13-12 record, while ODU fell to 12-14 overall and 6-5 in league play.
James Woodard led all scorers with 14 points, followed by 12 from Tim Peete, Rashad Smith with 11 and Brandon Swannegan with 10 points, all coming in the first half.
Ambrose Mosley came off the bench to lead ODU in scoring with 12 points, followed by 11 from Richard Ross.
For the game, Tulsa held ODU to 27-percent shooting from the field and forced the Monarchs into 22 turnovers.
“Today was a great effort day for us in terms of defense. We guarded well, stayed true to our principles, and just stayed active with multiple hustle plays. That is what you have to do to be a good team,” said TU coach Danny Manning. “Our guys were good defensively today. I’m very, very happy with their effort and how they came out in the first half and guarded. Numbers-wise, we appeared to play better in the second half based off of shooting percentage.
“They missed some shots that they normally make. Not too many times does their leading scorer not score. A couple guys did a very good job of face guarding him and made his catches hard.”
Tulsa travels to face the Florida Atlantic Owls on Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. and the Florida International Panthers on Feb. 22 with a tip time of 1 p.m.