Tulane Roars Back to Edge Tulsa in Overtime, 67-65

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM David Gomez finished with 16 points.
David Gomez finished with 16 points.

Jan. 16, 2008

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TULSA, Okla. -- Senior David Gomez scored six of his team-high 16 points in overtime and sophomore Kevin Sims knocked down six free throws in the extra session to lead Tulane to a thrilling 67-65 overtime victory in front of 6,101 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

The Green Wave (11-6, 1-2 C-USA) used a 14-6 run in the final 8:11 of regulation to erase an eight point deficit and forced overtime when junior Daniel Puckett broke free for a lay-up with 19-seconds remaining to tie the game at 47-47. The Golden Hurricane (8-6, 0-2 C-USA) had the final possession of regulation, but Ben Uzoh turned the ball over and Puckett's desperation heave nailed the right side of the backboard as the horn sounded.

In overtime, Gomez, who was saddled with four fouls for the final 18:47 of regulation and the entire overtime period, converted a three-point play barely one minute into the extra session and the Green Wave scored the first five points to take a 52-47 lead.

Tulsa's Calvin Walls hit 1-of-2 free throws to cut the lead to four points, but TU senior Matt Wheaton drilled a timely three-pointer to push the Wave's lead to seven points with 2:30 remaining.

The Green Wave maintained its seven-point cushion until Glenn Andrews sank one of his four three-pointers to cut the lead to four points. Tulsa managed to pull to within two points with 38 seconds left the contest, but freshman Johnny Mayhane scored an easy lay-up off a Hurricane press and the Wave converted 6-of-6 free throws, including the four by Sims, to stave off the Tulsa rally.

Andrew nailed his final three-pointer at the buzzer for the two-point Tulane victory. The loss is the first at home for Tulsa this season and snaps a seven-game win streak that dates back to last season.

Along with Gomez, Sims finished with 14 points, while Louisme added 13 points. Tulane shot 41.4 percent for the game, while holding Tulsa to 36.1 percent, but it was the Wave's 71.4 percent field goal shooting in overtime and its 42-39 advantage on the boards that led to its first Conference USA win of the year.

"This was a really good win for our guys and for our program," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "The one thing we talked about was winning on the road in this conference and what we had to do as a program. Everyone was patting us on the back for our non-conference performance and our RPI. But what we had to do was get Conference USA tough. Our backs were against the walls and we circled the wagons. Our guys worked hard and we knew if we rebounded the basketball we would have a chance to win this game. My hats off to all of our guys and coaches for getting a road win against a team that doesn't lose at home. It was a very commendable effort for our players and coaches."

For the second straight game, Tulane opened the game with a strong showing, running out to a 7-0 lead, and the Green Wave defense held Tulsa to five points for the first 7:40 and to one field in the first eight minutes. However, the Green Wave was whistled for nine fouls in the first half and Tulsa hit 6-of-8 field goals to stay close.

Gomez led the way for the Wave in the first half with six points, but picked up his second foul midway through the period and was forced into a spectator role for the final minutes of the first period.

After a field goal drought, Tulsa used an 8-2 run to tie the game at 13 apiece on a three-point field goal by Brett McDade as the shot clock was winding down. The Hurricane took its first led minutes later on a turn-around jumper from Calvin Walls.

Sims tied Gomez with six points and kept Tulane close. He hit a floater in the lane to tie the game at 15-15, and then came up with a steal and a lay-up to tie the game at 17-17. Tulsa then rattled off four points to take a 21-17 advantage, its largest lead of the game, on a turn-around jumper from Jerome Jordan and a lay-up by Rod Earls.

Sophomore Asim McQueen kicked off a 5-0 spurt for the Green Wave when he drove to the basket and was fouled, but his shot banked in and he sank the free throw for the three-point play to draw the Wave to within a point with 1:56 remaining in the period.

Freshman Kris Richard came up with his biggest play of the half when he stole the ball and fed Sims for a lay-up that put Tulane ahead, 22-21, and the Green Wave led at intermission.

Andrews led all scorers with 20 points, while Walls and Uzoh each finished with 12 points.