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TU Women fall to East Carolina, 73-67

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Erika Wakefield, Crystal Polk and Tyjae’ Scales all had season-high points, but it wasn’t enough as Tulsa dropped a 73-67 decision to ECU on Wednesday night at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C. TU fell to 8-9 on the season and 2-2 in American Athletic Conference play, while the Pirates moved to 9-8 overall and 1-3 in the league.

“This one was tough,” Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. “It came down to some little things and we had a chance to win the game, but we had too many turnovers. I’m proud of how hard we played and fought, and the way we competed. We got off to a slow start and didn’t shoot the ball well, which makes it hard to win games, but we didn’t lose our confidence, we just couldn’t overcome the first half.”

Wakefield had season-highs of 21 points and seven assists, while Polk tied her season-best of 16 points, and Tyjae’ Scales tied her season-high of eight points and had a season-best 10 rebounds.

Both teams had 38 rebounds and six steals, while ECU had a 19-12 lead in assists and a 5-0 advantage in blocks.

TU pulled to within three two times in the final frame, before trailing by two, 61-59, at the 4:40 mark. After a charge and a turnover by Alex Frazier the Hurricane had the chance to tie it up and they did on a floater by Wakefield at the 3:45 mark. The two teams traded baskets, but then a steal and a layup by Polk gave TU the lead, 65-63, with 1:55 remaining. The last time TU had the lead in the contest was at the 7:31 mark of the first quarter, when Tulsa had the 5-4 advantage.

With 56.2-seconds remaining, Tulsa had a 67-66 lead, but a turnover by Tatyana Perez and a steal and a layup by Lashonda Monk gave ECU a 68-67 lead. Polk then turned over the ball on a charge foul. ECU made five free throws in the final six seconds of the contest to earn the 73-67 win.

Tulsa shot 41-percent from the field, including just 15-percent from three-point range, and was 60-percent from the free throw line, while ECU shot 46-percent from the field, 25-percent from behind the arc and 50-percent from the charity stripe.

TU shot an outstanding 78-percent from the field in the final frame.

Tulsa got out to a 5-4 lead, but ECU went on a 14-0 run to take a 16-5 advantage at the 3:12 mark in the first quarter. Kendrian Elliott hit a free throw to snap the scoring drought for Tulsa at the 2:54 mark, and then Wakefield scored on a layup with 2:12 on the clock for an 18-8 score. TU trailed 22-11 at the end of the frame, after going without a field goal for 5:40 in the first quarter.

Tulsa shot just 28-percent in the first 10 minutes, while the Pirates shot 62-percent from the field.

The Golden Hurricane started the second quarter with a 6-0 run to pull to within five, 22-17, at the 7:45 mark. ECU scored their first point of the second frame at the 5:31 mark as Lashonda Monk hit a free throw and then Alex Frazier scored their first field goal in the frame at the 3:37 mark, but it was the Pirates that took a 30-23 lead into the break.

Tulsa got down by as many as 12 points, 39-27, at the 7:49 mark of the third quarter, but pulled to within seven, 43-36, at the 4:08 mark and trailed by seven with one quarter remaining, 49-42.

The Pirates we led by Destiny Campbell with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Salita Greene added 16, Ariyana Williams had 11 and Alex Frazier scored 10.

Tulsa will return to action on Saturday, January 13 against Memphis. Game time is set for 12 noon at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

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