Conway, S.C. — Curran Scott scored 17 points and Tulsa led wire-to-wire in beating Western Michigan 81-74 on Thursday night in an opening-round game in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Tulsa (2-1) will take on Iowa State in the semifinals Friday while Western Michigan (1-2) faces Appalachian State on the campus of Coastal Carolina where the tournament was moved because of hurricane damage in Puerto Rico.
Junior Etou added 15 points and Elijah Joiner 11 points and seven rebounds for Tulsa, which shot 50 percent and did much of its damage inside with 40 points in the paint while making just 3 of 18 from 3-point range.
Sterling Taplin, who finished with 10 points, scored six of Tulsa’s first seven points in a 20-7 run. The Golden Hurricane stayed ahead by double figures until Reggie Jones’ 3-pointer cut the lead to nine, 77-68, with 1:16 to go.
Thomas Wilder led the Broncos with 19 points and seven assists. Josh Davis added 14 points and eight rebounds, Bryce Moore 13 points and Brandon Johnson 11 points.
More state men
(At) Eastern Michigan 76, Arkansas State 59: James Thompson IV had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Paul Jackson scored 21 points with seven assists and four steals to lead Eastern Michigan. Tim Bond added 15 point and three steals for Eastern Michigan (3-0). Thompson, a junior, has 42 double-doubles and 1,009 points in 68 career games.
Bond hit a 3-pointer and converted a 3-point play and Ty Groce added a 3 in a 13-0 run, capped by a dunk by Groce, that gave Eastern Michigan a 20-10 lead. Tristin Walley made a layup to pull Arkansas State (1-2) within four points with 7:44 to go, but the Red Wolves would get no closer. Thompson’s 3-point play on a dunk and then another dunk by Jackson made it 68-55 with 2:39 left and Eastern Michigan continued to pull away from there.
Deven Simms tied his career-high with 23 points for Arkansas State. Tamas Bruce fouled out with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
(At) No. 5 Louisville 74, No. 24 Michigan 49: Louisville coach Jeff Walz tried reverse psychology, plus a little sarcasm, before telling his team the best way to slow hot-shooting Michigan.
Good things happen by playing defense, a strategy the No. 5 Cardinals applied often and effectively in the second half.
Myisha Hines-Allen scored 19 points, Asia Durr had 13 and Louisville used a big third quarter to rally past Michigan in the semifinal of the preseason women’s NIT.
“We came out with more energy,” said Hines-Allen, who had eight rebounds, a block and two steals. “It started with our defense.”
Trailing 37-32 at halftime, the Cardinals began the third quarter with a 12-2 run for a 44-39 lead. They broke it open early in the fourth with sustained intensity on both ends.
Louisville outscored the Wolverines 42-12 after halftime behind 15-of-29 shooting (52 percent), including 5 of 6 from 3-point range.
Quite an improvement from a first half that had Walz seeking ways to get players to put some resistance against Michigan guard Katelynn Flaherty, who scored 17 of her 23 points by the break.
“We were absolutely terrible, there’s no other way to say it,” Walz said. “At one time I said, ‘don’t guard her, because then you might actually guard her.’ It was an opposite day. We had a nice conversation at halftime and I just told them that if I was a fan, I’d leave because your effort was awful.
“We came out in the second half and it was a pretty impressive performance.”
Flaherty made just 2 of 7 shots in the second half, and Louisville (4-0) held the Wolverines (2-1) to 19 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes. The Cardinals earned their second win over a ranked Big Ten opponent in three games and will host No. 10 Oregon in Sunday’s championship. The Ducks beat No. 19 Texas A&M 83-68 in the other semifinal.
Sam Fuehring and Jazmine Jones each had eight points for Louisville. Sydney Zambrotta added six points with a pair of 3-pointers.
Flaherty was 5 of 6 from long range for Michigan, which initially shot 65 percent before cooling off after halftime. The Wolverines committed 23 turnovers and were beaten 35-27 on the boards and 40-16 in the paint.
“Their pressure really got to us in the second half,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “We played a great Louisville team. They face-guarded Katelynn in the second half. They really turned up the defense in the second half and the pressure got to us.”
More state women’s scores
Cleveland State 77, Eastern Michigan 65
Northwestern 88, Oakland 70