Tulsa has beaten UConn in on their home court in all three years they have been a member of the conference. This year, KenPom projects the 97th-ranked home team to beat the 125th-ranked Huskies, 71-67.
UConn fans know better than to be too encouraged by the fight the Huskies showed against Wichita State. Last time the Huskies did so against a ranked opponent, at Arizona, they followed it up with a complete stinker against Auburn. If this UConn team is going to prove that it’s any better than what it has shown in the aggregate of the past eight games, it needs to start with a solid road win tonight. Jalen Adams, Terry Larrier, and Christian Vital are three guys we know KO can count on, after that he’s been hoping for the best with not-so-great results.
Frank Haith is in his fourth season as head coach at Tulsa. He started his tenure with two seasons over 20 wins and an NCAA Tournament berth but the team stumbled to a 15-17 record last season. They return four of their five top scorers from that team, however, and are joined by Charlotte transfer Curran Scott to form the nucleus of this year’s team.
Senior forward Junior Etou leads the way, averaging 17.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, both team-highs. Sterling Taplin (11.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.9 APG), who attended prep school at Connecticut’s St. Thomas More, is the point guard with senior Corey Henderson (7.4 PPG), and Scott (7.9 PPG) by his side in the backcourt.
Up front, the lineup is not too imposing, which may bode well for UConn. The 6-foot-9 Geno Artison (3.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG) and 6-foot-8 Martins Igbanu (7.1 PPG, 4.9 PPG) are the starters down low.
Tulsa is 9-5 so far on the season with their best win coming against Kansas State, ranked No. 40 in KenPom, on a neutral site. The Golden Hurricane grabbed their second-best win on Sunday against No. 135 Tulane and have losses against Lamar, Iowa State, and Illinois State on the resume. This is a winnable game for UConn and certainly one where it would be unacceptable to shit the bed.
We’ll have live updates here, feel free to share your pre-game predictions and in-game thoughts in the comments.
20:00 - UConn wins the tip and opens up the game with a low-post basket from Josh Carlton!
15:47 - UConn ahead 11-8. The Huskies mounted a 7-0 run after two buckets from Jalen Adams and a three-pointer from Terry Larrier.
11:49 - Tulsa takes the lead, 16-13. Adams has six points. Tulsa is shooting pretty well and UConn’s offense, in a shocking turn of events, isn’t moving the ball well.
7:10 - Tulsa has caught fire from three and leads, 28-22. The Golden Hurricane are 7-13 from deep so far. Adams has eight points and Larrier has six.
3:06 - Tulsa leads, 34-33. UConn’s offense has moved it around a bit better and shown a little more patience. A couple of different guys getting into the act, including Mamadou Diarra and Isaiah Whaley, and we finally got a Kwintin Williams dunk! Adams has nine points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Larrier has eight.
End 1st Half - Tulsa leads 42-36. Golden Hurricane went on an 8-0 run to pull ahead at the end of the half. UConn needs to tighten perimeter defense, Tulsa’s hit 10 of 16 three-point attempts. Larrier leads the Huskies with 11 points, Adams is at nine, with seven rebounds, and five assists. Tulsa shooting guard Corey Henderson leads all scorers with 17.
20:00 - We are underway.
15:22 - Tulsa ahead, 50-47, thanks to continued proficiency from deep. UConn is hanging around thanks to Terry Larrier, who’s at 17 points and is 5-6 from three so far. Adams has 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.
11:29 - Tulsa still with the lead, 61-55. The Huskies to tighten up defensively if they’re going to make a move here. Some good three-point shooting has kept them in this in the second half. Vital hit two in a row to get to 10 points. Larrier still has 17 and Adams has 16.
7:37 - Huskies showing some fight, down one with the score at 64-63. Vital has hit two more threes to get to 16, 12 in the first half. Tulsa hasn’t hit a field goal in about five minutes.
3:16 - Tied at 66! Hold on to your butts.
0:00 - Jalen Adams hit some clutch shots to get UConn ahead by four with under a minute left. But Tulsa hit some timely threes including a desperation shot with four seconds left to tie it and we are heading to overtime tied at 75.
5:00 - Overtime has begun
1:34 - UConn on top 79-78. Vital had a nice drive for a lay-in and Jalen Adams put in two free throws.
0:21 - Score is the same, Tulsa has the ball with the shot clock off.
0:00 - Looked like UConn had this one wrapped up, up one with 12 seconds left and inbounding the ball. Unfortunately, they turned it over on the inbound and then fouled leading to Tulsa to hit one of two free throws to tie it. Heading to double OT.
5:00 - Alright let’s do this.