TULSA, Okla., December 27, 2009 – Zabian Dowdell came off the bench to shoot 10-for-11 en route to his team and season-high 25 points, as the Tulsa 66ers defeated the Reno Bighorns 100-95 on Sunday at the Reno Events Center.
“We came out and played a better game defensively tonight,” 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts said. “Our players did a great job of playing gritty, and dictated the game to our style of play.”
Oklahoma City Thunder assignee D.J. White started the game shooting 5-for-5, scoring 10 points in the first quarter. There were four times where the teams were tied in the period, as Tulsa pulled ahead by as many as six points, but headed into the second quarter with 24-23 edge.
Early in the second, Dowdell scored six points to spark a 12-3 run in just over three minutes, capped by a Cecil Brown three-pointer that put the 66ers ahead 41-34 with 6:19 remaining in the half. Tulsa shot 10-for-15 (67 percent) in the second quarter, and went into halftime with a 49-42 advantage.
Two straight three-pointers by Desmon Farmer opened up a 21-6 run that started with the Bighorns down by four with 9:22 remaining, and was capped by a Farmer dunk that put the Bighorns in front 70-59 with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter. But eight points by Dowdell, and a long jumper by Thunder assignee Byron Mullens allowed the 66ers to cut the lead to 71-76 heading into the fourth quarter. Tulsa was outscored in the period 34-22, as Farmer scored 13 third quarter points, and Dowdell pitched in 10 of his own for the 66ers.
With just over eight minutes remaining in the game, the 66ers went on an 8-0 run in 1:30 of play to go ahead 85-83 after a Mustafa Shakur lay up. The teams traded baskets the rest of the game, until the 66ers were able to pull away in the final minute, led by Shakur’s 12 fourth quarter points and shooting 9-for-17 as a team in the quarter.
The 66ers outrebounded the Bighorns 36-29 in the game, including 11 on the offensive end. Despite Reno having active hands, with 12 steals compared to five for Tulsa, the 66ers shot 52 percent (40-77) compared to 49 percent (35-71) for the Bighorns
Led by Dowdell off the bench, Tulsa (7-6) finished with four players in double-digit scoring. White had 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds and three blocks, while Shakur muscled in 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Mullens added 16 points and eight rebounds for the 66ers.
Reno (5-6) was led by Farmer, who finished with 34 points, six assists and six rebounds. Rod Benson added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Russell Robinson contributed 12 points. Cezary Trybanski finished with 11 points off the bench for the Bighorns.
The 66ers return home of face the Sioux Falls Skyforce in a back-to-back series on Saturday, Jan. 2 at 7 pm, and Sunday, Jan. 3 at 4 pm.