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February 9, 2008
Slow start dooms Eagles
TULSA, Okla.(AP)Ben Uzoh scored 18 points and helped shut down Southern Mississippi's leading scorer as Tulsa rolled to an early lead and cruised to a 78-63 win over the Golden Eagles on Saturday night.
Tulsa (11-10, 3-6 Conference USA) took a 40-15 halftime lead as Uzoh scored 12 points while limiting Southern Miss' Jeremy Wise to 4 points on 1 of 7 shooting. Wise finished with 21 after a late flurry, once the game had long been decided.
The Golden Hurricane held Southern Miss (12-11, 4-5) to 17 percent shooting in the first half while making 60 percent of its own shots. It was the lowest first-half total this season both by the Golden Eagles and any Tulsa opponent.
Tulsa shot 59.2 percent for the game, going 29 of 49 from the field, and allowed the Golden Eagles to come no closer than 14 points in the second half.
Uzoh scored on a variety of acrobatic drives and took Wise totally out of the game during the first half. He received plenty of help from his teammates defensively, particularly the 6-foot-11 Jordan, who blocked three shots and altered many others.
Uzoh finished 8 of 11 from the field and added seven rebounds.
``I thought we had great rotation and Ben did a real nice job,'' Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said. ``It's hard to say if that was our best (half of basketball) but it was very good. When you hold a team to 15 points and build a 25-point lead, that's a great team effort.''
Tulsa jumped out to a 19-4 lead and after Southern Miss closed to 21-9, the Golden Hurricane added another 11-0 run, spurred by three baskets by Jordan.