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66ers Clamp Down On Red Claws

TULSA, Okla., February 18, 2010 Behind a season-high 37 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Larry Owens, the Tulsa 66ers defeated the Maine Red Claws 113-107 on Thursday afternoon during the annual Kids Day. The 66ers improved to 17-14 on the season with their third straight victory, while the Red Claws dropped their second straight and fell to 19-12.

"I'm really proud of the effort that we were able to put on the floor today," 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts said. "The emphasis that we have been placing on the defensive end in practice really showed today against a good team."

Tulsa jumped out early in the game on a 10-4 run, capped by two Deron Washington free throws with 9:15 remaining in the first quarter. The Red Claws fought back to within 17-14 after a Maurice Ager lay in with 6:10 left. The 66ers outscored Maine 18-7 the remainder of the quarter, as Tulsa scored a season-high in points in the first quarter and led 35-21 at the break. Owens scored 14 and Washington scored 11 first quarter points, as the 66ers shot 56.5 percent (13-for-23) from the field, while the Red Claws shot 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) in the first period.

A steal, free throw and jumper by Mustafa Shakur sparked an 11-2 run that put the 66ers ahead 48-27 with 6:21 remaining in the first half. Morris Almond scored eight second quarter points, as the Red Claws shot 11-for-21 from the field. Tulsa forced eight turnovers by Maine in the second quarter, as the 66ers shot 38.9 percent (7-for-18), led by Owens with nine points in the period.

Right after halftime, two straight three-pointers by Moses Ehambe sparked a 12-2 run by the 66ers that pushed their lead to 69-49 with 8:22 left in the quarter. Another Ehambe three and an Owens dunk gave Tulsa their largest lead of the game at 25 points (83-58) with 3:01 remaining in the period. Ehambe scored 12 points in the quarter, going 4-for-5 from deep, while the 66ers shot 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from the field. The Red Claws were outscored 31-23 in the third quarter, as Billy Thomas scored eight points, and they shot 8-for-22 as a team in the period.

Maine began the fourth quarter on a 13-3 run, cutting the 66ers lead to 94-83 with 7:21 left in the game. The two teams traded baskets for the next four minutes, until four turnovers on five possessions by Tulsa allowed Maine to claw within five at 106-101 with 52.6 second remaining. The 66ers shot 12-of-15 from the free throw line in the quarter to help secure the win.

The 66ers were outrebounded in the contest 51-34, but scored 36 points on 23 forced turnovers by the Red Claws.

Led by Owens, the 66ers had four players in double figures. Shakur shot 10-of-12 from the free throw line and scored 28 points, to go along with seven boards and seven assists. Ehambe finished with 22 points off the bench, while Washington added 19 points and nine rebounds.

The Red Claws finished with six players in double-figure scoring, led by Morris Almond with 20 points and eight rebounds. Trey Gilder and Billy Thomas came off the bench to score 17 points and 16 points, respectively. Russell Robinson had a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists, while Ager added 13. TJ Cummings finished with 10 points.

Tulsa will stay home and face the Springfield Armor on "Thirsty Thursday", Feb. 25 at 7 PM. There will be $2 draft beer specials during the game. The Red Claws continue their road trip on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20 and 21 at Rio Grande Valley.