RENO, Nev., February 27, 2010 – A running jumper by Mustafa Shakur with 1.2 seconds remaining in the game gave the Tulsa 66ers their fifth straight win, as they defeated the Reno Bighorns 96-94 Saturday night at the Reno Events Center. Shakur finished with a game-high 26 points and eight assists.
The Bighorns came out firing in their first home game after a long road trip, going up 11-3 with 6:14 remaining in the first quarter after two Mo Charlo free throws. Shakur scored the next eight points in the game, as the 66ers came back with a 16-0 run, and took a 19-11 lead with 3:17 left following a Moses Ehambe three-pointer. The Bighorns roared back with an 11-2 run of their own to end the period, and took a 22-21 advantage into the break. Rod Benson scored 10 points in the quarter, as Reno shot 7-for-19 from the field and outrebounded the 66ers 16-10. Shakur scored 10 first quarter points, as Tulsa shot 7-for-24 from the field.
An Ehambe jumper early into the second quarter sparked an 8-0 run by the 66ers, as they took a 31-24 lead with 8:22 left in the first half. Yaroslav Korolev scored six points during the next minute, as the Bighorns came back to tie the game at 33 with 7:06 remaining. Then a Deron Washington three-pointer gave Tulsa a nine-point lead at 48-39 with 4:15 left in the period, capping an 11-2 run by the 66ers. Both teams traded baskets the remainder of the quarter, as Tulsa took a 56-49 edge into halftime after outscoring the Bighorns 35-27 in the period. Ehambe tallied nine points and four assists, as the 66ers shot 78.9 (15-19) and outrebounded Reno 14-7 in the quarter. The Bighorns shot 7-of-22 from the field in the period, but were able to hang close by going 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
Benson scored six points during a 13-4 run early in the third quarter, as the Bighorns came back to tie the game at 65 with 6:06 left in the period. Larry Owens capped a 13-2 run by the 66ers to finish the quarter with a fade away jumper, giving Tulsa a 78-67 lead going into the final period. Benson and Owens each scored eight points in the period, as the Bighorns shot 7-for-17 and the 66ers shot 10-for-22 from the field.
With the 66ers leading 81-67 and 9:50 left in the game, Korolev once again sparked a run by the Bighorns. He scored the first three points, then grabbed a steal as Reno went on a 14-2 run that brought the Bighorns to within 83-81 with 5:48 left. Jump shots by Chris Richard and Shakur stopped the run and gave the 66ers a six-point lead with 5:03 remaining. The Bighorns outscored Tulsa 11-5 in the next four minutes to tie the game at 92 with 31.8 seconds left. After an Owens jumper, Will Blalock made a lay up but missed a free throw, which gave Shakur the opportunity to hit the game-winner.
Led by Shakur, the 66ers (19-14) finished with five players in double figure scoring and two double-doubles. Owens had 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Washington added 19 points, six rebounds and six assists. Ehambe came off the bench for 14 points, while Richard added 10 points and 10 boards. Latavious Williams also finished with 10 rebounds, as Tulsa tied a season-high with 52 boards.
The Bighorns (16-19) finished with four players in double digit scoring, led by Desmon Farmer with 24 points, including 12-14 from the free throw line. Benson finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, Korolev added 13 points off the bench and Charlo contributed 11 points. Doug Thomas finished with 10 boards.
Both teams match up in the second game of the back-to-back series tomorrow at 5 p.m. CST.