Beyond The Boxscore: Tulsa Dominant In Opening Round Win

Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

The hottest team in the league dominated things in the second half, looking strong as ever.

Tulsa owned the paint, dominating in scoring and on the boards, while also looking very sharp in almost all aspects to open up the Conference USA Tournament.

The Golden Hurricane outscored the Green Wave 26-4 in the paint, and cleaned up everything off the glass in the second to out rebound them as well 42-32. Tulsa forwards Rashad Smith, and D'Andre Wright are great athletes who were instrumental in the physical domination of Tulane.

James Woodard really got going in the second half, after scoring six in the first, Woodard went off for 16 in the second half shooting 4/6 from deep to sink the Green Wave.

The only thing Tulsa did not do well was shoot the three, though lived off three point plays, while getting to the free throw line 28 times.

Tulsa's defense bothered Tulane from the start as they forced 13 total turnovers leading to 16 points for the Golden Hurricane.

Simple hustle was basically the key in the second half runaway by the deep, and defensive Golden Hurricanes. They did a great job of stopping the ball, and stretched their defense past the three point line from the start, making it tough for Tulane to get in any type of rhythm.

Every time a guard for Tulane was stuck on the perimeter, the Tulsa bench would countdown the five second call, adding more pressure to their great defensive effort. No easy layups were given up by Tulsa.

Tulsa was also relentless on the boards all day, leading to a 16-3 mark in second chance points in the game.

Using just straight man-to-man defense, Tulsa protected the rim all night with great help defense, basically begging Tulane to shoot three.

Tulane was held to 33.3 percent shooting in the game, and was shut down in the second half shooting just 23 percent. Tulsa's guards gave the talented trio of guards for Tulane in Jay Hook, Louis Dabney and Jonathan Stark trouble, and no space to work off the dribble.

Combined they had three assists compared to five turnovers thanks to the defense of Tim Peete and Shaquille Harrison who both had two steals for Tulsa.

Tulsa will now await the winner of Old Dominion and Middle Tennessee, make it eight straight wins, and sixteen of their last eighteen, Tulsa is for real.

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