Tulsa jumped out of the gates and never looked back as the Golden Hurricane defeated Marshall 67-49 to earn its first Conference USA victory of the season on Thursday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
The Hurricane (6-10, 1-2 C-USA) shot a blistering 62.5 percent from three-point land, while holding the Thundering Herd (6-10, 0-3 C-USA) to a 20-perecent clip. TU shot a season-high 51.1 percent from the field, and outrebounded Marshall 41-25.
"We talked at length after the Rice game that we absolutely have to shoot over 40-percent to be successful," Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. "I'm very pleased with the way that we shot the ball and we rebounded the ball. I will take the win. We will run with that as far as it will take us."
Freshman Kelsee Grovey scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting to pace the Hurricane. She also was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Senior Taleya Mayberry scored 18 points, tied a career-high with seven steals and added a season-high eight assists.
Sophomore Kadan Brady recorded 10 points, while senior Tiffani Couisnard chipped in nine points and eight rebounds. Junior Loren McDaniel tallied a game-high 12 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.
Tulsa jumped out to an 8-0 lead to force Marshall to take an early timeout with 16:46 remaining in the period. After the Herd went on a 5-0 run, the Hurricane countered scoring eight of the next ten points to take an 18-9 lead with 10:27 in the first half. Tulsa's lead swelled to 19 as TU took a 38-19 lead heading into intermission. In the half, TU shot 61.5 percent from the field and a blistering 66.7 percent from beyond the arc, while holding Marshall to 23.3 clip from the floor. Mayberry tallied 14 points in the half as the Hurricane scored 22 of its 38 points in the paint.
"I was pleased with our first half," Mossman said. "I thought it was a really good first half for us. I thought we competed, I thought we defended well."
A Grovey three-pointer extended the TU lead to 41-19 to begin the second half, but Marshall whittled the lead down to eight points by going on a 16-2 run to make it a 43-35 score with 13:35 to go. The Herd again made it an eight-point game with 11:17 left, but Mayberry's trey with 10:56 on the clock gave TU a 52-41 advantage. Tulsa's lead remained in double-digits for the rest of the way as the squad ended the game on a 15-7 run.
The Golden Hurricane will hit the road to take on East Carolina on Sunday, January 20. Tipoff from Greenville, N.C. is scheduled for 12 p.m.