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November 12, 2012

Tulsa wins big in Manning's debut

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- James Woodard scored 28 points in 20 minutes and Tulsa got off to a rousing start in Danny Manning's first game as coach, beating LSU-Shreveport 110-54 Sunday.

"I felt pretty good about it," said Woodard, a true freshman. "I try to do whatever I can to help my team out. They got me a lot of open shots and I tried to take advantage of them. We try to hang our hats on defense though. I thought overall we did well but we can do much better. I was a bit surprised, but I was going out and playing my game. The coaches told me to stay aggressive and that's what I did."

Woodard hit 9 of 12 shots from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, and was good on all five of his free-throw attempts. Scottie Haralson added 14 points for the Golden Hurricane, D'Andre Wright had 12 and Rashad Ray had 11 points and six assists.

"I thought we came out with great energy," Manning explained. "I thought a lot of that had to do with the outstanding crowd. There were a lot of people, a lot of energy in the building and that really helped our guys out; especially with the start we got off to. We made some shots early and it snowballed from there. We did a pretty good job of sharing the basketball and then it started to stick later on in the first half.

"It was a nice win for us, but we have to continue to get better. There were some times when we were a little bit too sloppy with our play, but it was our first game and we'll continue to tighten those things up."

Jake Greene had 17 points for LSU-Shreveport, an NAIA school coached by former Tulsa player Kyle Blankenship. Mark Politte and Rodney Milum added 10 each.

Tulsa used runs of 12-0 and 16-0 en route to a 60-25 halftime lead. The Golden Hurricane was 13 for 26 on 3-point shots and converted 25 of 30 free-throw attempts.

"We use every chance we get," said TU senior guard Scottie Haralson. "Once we secure the rebound, we try to push it to get easy buckets and that's our main goal. I think we do a pretty good job of that and we just have to keep it up."

Manning, a member of Kansas' NCAA championship team in 1988, is the eighth all-time leading scorer in NCAA history and a two-time NBA All-Star. He is used to big crowds and pressure situations as a player, but walking out as a head coach for the first time in the regular season was a new experience.

"We were hoping for the crowd that we got, and we were very happy and pleased with that," he described. "That was the best part of the night, walking out and seeing all of the people out, seeing the support they have for our team. We have to continue to go out and play hard and play with effort and energy to get them to come back. That was the best part for me, especially the student section."

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