Nov. 25, 2000
HILO, Hawaii - Oklahoma University, ranked No. 19 in the country, proved to be too much for previously undefeated Tulane University. The Sooners held on for an 83-69 victory over the Green Wave in second round action of the Big Island Invitational Basketball Tournament on Saturday evening at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.
Tulane returns to action on Sunday afternoon at 9:30 p.m. (CST), playing Long Beach State in the third place game of the tournament. The action will be carried live by WSMB AM 1350 with Ken Bertholot providing the play-by-play.
Tulane (3-1) was led by sophomore Brandon Spann (New Orleans, La.), who scored 20 points, his third straight 20-point effort. Senior Ledaryl Billingsley (Chicago, Ill.) chipped in with his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Linton Johnson (Chicago, Ill.) added 16 points and five rebounds, while sophomore Brandon Brown (Houma, La.) scored 11 points.
Three-pointers and turnovers were the difference in the game. Oklahoma (4-0) buried 10 treys, while the Green Wave managed just five field goals from long-range. The Sooners had just 13 turnovers, while Tulane gave it away 29 times, resulting in 33 more field goal attempts for Oklahoma.
Oklahoma was led by sophomore guard Hollis Price, a New Orleans product from St. Augustine's, who scored a career-high 30 points, including three three-pointers. The Sonners' leading scorer Aaron McGhee, who entered the game averaging 23.0 points per game, was held to just six points as he battled foul trouble throughout the day.
The Wave had a pair of free throws from Brown and a long three-pointer from Spann early in the second half to make it 44-37, but Oklahoma responded with a 15-2 run to make it 59-39 with 15:59 to go. Both teams battled back and forth the rest of the way with Tulaner unable to cut the gap to less than the final margin. Price was the key for the Sooners, scoring 10 of the Sooners' 11 points over a seven-minute stretch late in the contest.
In the first half, Price torched the Green Wave for 14 points, including three three-pointers. The New Orleans native erased Tulane's 13-8 advantage by burying back-to-back threes and scoring on a drive to make it 18-13 in favor of the Sooners. Oklahoma knocked down seven treys in the opening half.