OREM, Utah, February 5, 2010 – A late surge by Utah wasn’t enough to get the victory over the Tulsa 66ers Friday night at the McKay Events Center. Tulsa held on to win by a final score of 103-96.
“They played hard and focused, and we just didn’t play as hard or focused consistently,” said Head Coach Brad Jones. “We didn’t have the drive or look in our eyes that Tulsa did and they were just better than us tonight.”
The Utah Flash trailed by as many as 10 points at one point in the first quarter after Tulsa jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Utah cut the lead to six behind Carlos Wheeler’s eight first quarter points and trailed 25-31 at the end of the first quarter. Tulsa shot a red hot 81 percent from the field in the first quarter after all five starters put up points.
Tulsa continued their hot shooting in the second quarter led by Mustafa Shakur’s 10 points and Marcus Lewis’ 12 off the bench. The Flash made a late second quarter 11-2 run to tie the game 47-47 with three minutes left to play but trailed 52-55 at the end of the half. Orien Greene led the way for the Flash scoring 14 in the half.
Tulsa came out with an 11-2 run that extended the lead to 12 points with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter. The Flash then responded with a 15-4 run of their own and trailed by five at the end of the third with the score 71-76. Cecil Brown scored nine third-quarter points for Tulsa while Dontell Jefferson led the Flash with six points in the quarter.
Both teams battled and exchanged buckets during an intense fourth quarter. Two Jefferson free throws gave the Flash their first lead of the game with two minutes left to play at 93-92. However, the late 12-4 run wasn’t enough as a Mustafa Shakur clutch three-point bucket led Tulsa to outscore the Flash 11-3 down the stretch and take the seven-point victory.
Tulsa had six players score in double figures and were led by Latavious Williams and his 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Flash were led by Orien Green’s 22 points and Jefferson’s 21 points.