Tahlequah Daily Press


March 22, 2014

Tulsa falls short against UCLA in NCAA tournament

SAN DIEGO — Eventually, the pain of losing to UCLA in the NCAA tournament will go away for Danny Manning and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

They want to become tournament regulars and win some games.

It just didn't happen this time.

Jordan Adams had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Norman Powell scored 15 in his hometown to lead fourth-seeded UCLA to a 76-59 victory over 13th-seeded Tulsa on Friday night, spoiling Manning's NCAA tournament head coaching debut.

"I told the guys, 'Hopefully this loss stings, hopefully it burns,'" Manning said. "Every year the expectation for us is to be playing in this tournament. We want to stay in the tournament longer than we stayed today."

Making its first NCAA appearance since 2003, Tulsa (21-13) had its 11-game winning streak snapped. Manning, who led Kansas to the 1988 title and won another championship as a Jayhawks assistant coach six years ago, is in his second season as Tulsa's coach.

"We were excited to be here and it was definitely a great experience for us, but we're not content with just being here," sophomore forward D'Andre Wright said. "We want to come back and we want to win games in this tournament, because it's the best of the best, you know, and we want to prove ourselves consistently. So we're definitely not content with it."

Manning pointed out that it's been a while since Tulsa was dominated the way it was by the Bruins.

"I think once these guys and we as a staff have a chance to look back on our season, we can definitely say that we have some solid building blocks to move forward," he said.

UCLA (27-8) advanced to Sunday's third round in the South Region against 12th-seeded Stephen F. Austin, which upset No. 5 VCU 77-75 in overtime.

In his first year in Westwood, Steve Alford coached the Bruins to just their third win in the NCAA tournament since 2009. It came in the city where John Wooden won the last of his 10 national championships, in 1975.

The Golden Hurricane got close twice in the second half, and each time, Adams and Powell — who played at San Diego's Lincoln High — led big UCLA surges.

Adams and Powell combined for UCLA's first 12 points in the second half.

After Wright had a tip-in on the first possession to pull Tulsa to 35-32, Adams hit a 3-pointer and then converted a three-point play, rebounding his own miss and getting fouled by James Woodard. Tulsa's Tim Peete had a turnover and Adams fed Powell for a slam dunk. Powell then made a layup for a 45-32 lead.

Wright made a bank shot to end UCLA's 10-0 run, but Adams answered with a jump hook to make it 47-34.

Tulsa eventually closed to 57-52 before UCLA pulled away again, on a jumper by Bryce Alford, a layup by Tony Parker and a three-point play by Powell for a 64-54 lead with 4:11 left.

In the final minutes, Adams hit a 3-pointer and Powell revved up the crowd with a dunk.

UCLA took its biggest lead of the first half, 26-17, on a three-point play by Parker after he was fouled making a bank shot.

Tulsa then went on a 13-4 run capped by two big plays from Woodard, who hit a 3-pointer and on the next possession dribbled down the court for a slam dunk and a 30-all tie with 1:38 left.

Woodard started the run with two free throws and Wright scored Tulsa's next six points, on a slam dunk and two jumpers.

UCLA regained control when Kyle Anderson converted a three-point play and Adams made two free throws for a 35-30 halftime lead.

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