DEFENSE LEADS TULSA TO 87-76 VICTORY OVER SPRINGFIELD

TULSA, Okla., Dec. 17, 2011— Xavier Alexander scored a season-high 21 points, Billy Rush scored 15 and Nkem Ojougboh pitched in a team-high 10 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead the Tulsa 66ers (6-4) to an 87-76 win over the Springfield Armor (5-3) Saturday night inside the Tulsa Convention Center.

Tulsa’s defense held Springfield to 32-93 (.344) shooting from the floor and forced 18 turnovers. The 66ers defense also racked up seven steals, led by two thefts each from Rush and Alexander, and 10 blocked shots.

Also scoring in double figures for Tulsa was reserve LaDustin Williams with 11 points and Brady Morningstar and Curtis Sumpter with 10 each.

The 66ers recorded 16 assists, led by Morningstar with a season-high six dishes. Tulsa was also strong from 3-point range, connecting on 5-of-7 (.714) from long distance.

With the victory, Tulsa improved to 6-0 all-time against Springfield.

“Our players understand that this is a process,” 66ers head coach Dale Osbourne said. “We have to learn from every possible opportunity, and I think we responded well from last night’s game. Strong defense leads to good offense, and I was proud of our guys’ effort tonight. This was a win over a very good Springfield team.”

Springfield, who entered the contest in first place in the Eastern Conference, was led by Jamar Brown with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Eugene Spates also added a double-double for the squad with 10 points and 11 boards.

Tulsa’s next matchup is scheduled for next Friday, Dec. 23, when it travels to Erie to take on the BayHawks at 6 p.m. CT.

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