Etou, Henderson Jr. lead Tulsa past Prairie View A&M
Junior Etou neared a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Corey Henderson Jr. added 15 points as Tulsa defeated Prairie View A&M, 77-73, on Thursday night at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Etou went 6-of-11 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line to pace the Golden Hurricane (6-4), who has now won four of its last five games. Henderson Jr. hit a pair of 3-pointers and seven of his eight free throws in 33 minutes as TU shot 45.1-percent for the game.
TU outrebounded its opponent for the fourth-straight game and scored 32 points in the paint.
“Obviously, we found a way to win a game,” head coach Frank Haith said. “I thought we came off of a great win and came back to play a game after all week of exams. We grinded it out. There are a lot of things we have to get better at, but I’m proud that we were able to finish the game off with a W.”
Meanwhile, Gary Blackston led the Panthers (2-8) with 21 points, while J.D. Wallace had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Prairie View A&M shot 42.9-percent for the game and hit eight 3-pointers in the second half after going 0-for-12 in the first half.
The Panthers ended their 3-point drought on the first possession in the second half, but the Hurricane came back with a 12-2 run for its largest lead of the night, 46-29. Etou and Martins Igbanu started the run with a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays before Jaleel Wheeler found Etou for a dunk.
After a Prairie View A&M basket, Wheeler and Sterling Taplin each drove in for buckets for the 46-29 advantage.
The lead stayed in double-digits until Zachary Hamilton’s 3-pointer with 4:41 left started an 8-0 run to trim the TU cushion to 63-59. The Panthers would get as close as 69-68 with 1:23 remaining, but Geno Artison’s 3-pointer with 53 seconds left extended the lead and the Hurricane hit five free throws down the stretch to seal the 77-73 win.
The teams traded runs in the early minutes as TU answered a Prairie View A&M basket with a 7-0 run that was followed by an 8-0 spurt from the Panthers. After a slow start on offense, the Hurricane heated up from behind the arc, where it connected on five of its first 10 attempts.
Artison and Elijah Joiner hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Tulsa a 26-22 lead. Jordan Lumpkins then scored inside for the Panthers, but the TU defense would hold the visitors without a point during the final three minutes.
During that drought, TU scored the final eight points of the half to take a 34-24 cushion to intermission.
TU will be back in action at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, when it hosts Manhattan (4-5) for the squad’s final home non-conference game.