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Trojans Drop Season Opener To Golden Hurricane, 65-49

The UALR men’s basketball team (0-1) suffered a 65-49 loss at Tulsa (1-0) in the 2011-12 season opener on Friday night at the Reynolds Center. The Golden Hurricane held the Trojans to a paltry .276 field goal percentage and played to a commanding +29 margin on the glass (56-to-27).
TULSA, Okla. – The UALR men’s basketball team (0-1) suffered a 65-49 loss at Tulsa (1-0) in the 2011-12 season opener on Friday night at the Reynolds Center. The Golden Hurricane held the Trojans to a paltry .276 field goal percentage and played to a commanding +29 margin on the glass (56-to-27).

Kodi Maduka led the way for Tulsa with an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double while D.J. Magley added 12 boards off the bench. Jordan Clarkson led all players with 15 points, while Scottie Haralson chipped in 12 points – all of which came off three-point field goals. The duo of Clarkson and Haralson combined to score 24 of their 27 points in the second half to help the Golden Hurricane break open a game which Tulsa led 28-22 at the break.

Sophomores Chuck Guy and Will Neighbour led the Trojans with 13 points apiece in the losing effort, with Guy grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. After shooting 29.0 percent from the field in the first half, the Trojans connected on just 7-of-27 field goal attempts in the second half (25.9 percent) and endured a 7:55 drought between field goals as Tulsa extended its lead from two points to 14.

UALR committed just eight turnovers on the night, while forcing Tulsa into 17, and held Tulsa to a .385 field goal percentage, but could not overcome its shortcomings on the glass. Tulsa totaled eight blocked shots and 19 offensive rebounds in the win, which it parlayed into a 19-6 scoring advantage in second-chance points.

The two teams went back-and-forth for most of the first half, with a layup by senior Courtney Jackson bringing the Trojans within two, 24-22, with 2:40 left in the opening stanza. Jackson’s basket would mark UALR’s last field goal for a 7:55 stretch, however, and the Golden Hurricane capitalized on the drought to take control of the game. Tulsa scored the final four points of the first half to build a 28-22 lead at the break (the largest by either team over the first 20 minutes), and then outscored the Trojans 11-3 at the start of the second half to go on top 39-25.

Tulsa scored seven-unanswered points to open the second half, with two three pointers by Haralson, to go ahead 35-22 with 18:13 left to play. Neighbour finally snapped UALR’s field goal drought with a jumper at the 14:44 mark to make it a 39-27 contest – ending Tulsa’s 15-3 run from the closing minutes of the first half.

Trailing 44-30, UALR put together a 9-0 run to cut its deficit all the way down to five points, 44-39, with 11:11 left to play. Freshman Michael Javes opened the run with a bucket down low, and the Trojans received a three pointer from Jackson and back-to-back baskets by Guy.

Tulsa quickly extended its lead back to 10 points, 49-39, as Clarkson sank a pair of free throws and Haralson delivered his third three pointer of the half. Tulsa came up with an offensive rebound on a missed foul shot moments later, and Haralson connected on his fourth three pointer to give the Golden Hurricane a comfortable 52-39 lead with 7:01 remaining. UALR got back within nine points, 58-49, after a three pointer by Guy at the 3:19 mark, but was never able to get any closer.

UALR returns to action Sunday afternoon when it hosts Northwestern State at 2 p.m.
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