The first half was a back-and-forth defensive struggle, as the Armor managed an 18-13 lead after the first quarter. Tulsa outscored Springfield 31-28 in the second quarter as the game’s pace quickened, but still trailed at the break.
Coming out of halftime trailing 46-44, the 66ers went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Moses Ehambe three-pointer, to take a 53-50 edge with 9:16 remaining. Shakur scored 16 of Tulsa’s final 20 points, including the final dozen in the quarter, giving the 66ers a 75-67 edge heading into the final period.
“We were able to match their toughness this afternoon,” 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts said. “The leadership from our veterans after halftime really helped us pull out this win.”
A 6-1 run by the Armor to start the fourth quarter pulled them to within 73-76, following two Adam Harrington free throws. But two long jumpers by Oklahoma City Thunder assignee Byron Mullens, and two buckets by Cecil Brown extended the 66ers lead to 90-79 with 3:48 remaining in the game.
Tulsa outrebounded the Armor 42-39, led by DeVon Hardin’s game-high nine boards. The 66ers shot 45.2 percent (33-73) from the field for the game, while holding the Armor to 43.2 percent (32-74).
The 66ers (4-4) finished with five players scoring in double figures, led by Shakur, including his six assists and five boards. Mullens added 19 points and six rebounds, while Larry Owens had 14 points and six boards. Brown contributed 10 points, while Latavious Williams contributed a season-high of 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Armor (0-6) finished with five players in double-figure scoring, led by newly acquired Morris Almond, who finished with 27 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Harrington added 16 points, while JamesOn Curry contributed 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Major Wingate and TJ Cummings each finished with 12 points and six rebounds.