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February 16, 2013

Tulsa wins triple OT thriller

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - D'Andre Wright turned it on when his team needed it most, scoring 15 of his 21 points during three overtime periods to help Tulsa outlast Houston 101-92 on Saturday night.

Heading into a third overtime tied at 86, Tulsa (14-11, 6-5 C-USA) used an 11-3 run in the first 3 minutes to put Houston away for good.

"We knew when we came into the game that Houston would be a tough team to beat," Wright explained. "Once we got to overtime, we knew that all of the offseason training that we've been doing would come into effect. We knew that their team was getting tired, so we just tried to put it on them and in the third overtime we finally pulled a win out."

At the end of regulation, a pair of free throws by Shaquille Harrison gave Tulsa a 70-65 lead with 8 seconds to go but a lay-up by TaShawn Thomas and a desperation 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer by Jherrod Stiggers tied it at 70 and sent the two teams to overtime.

"This was a very interesting game," said Tulsa head coach Danny Manning. "In regulation we had a chance to seal the game, but we weren't sound enough or disciplined enough to take care of the ball. They throw up a Hail Mary and it goes in. We have to be a little bit more disciplined down the stretch during regulation in the game.

"While saying that, we showed that we were ready to grind and fight through it, and our players continued to fight and got through it. This was a tough game for both our teams. I'm sure that they are feeling like they had enough opportunities to take advantage of it, but we're fortunate to come away with the victory."

Thomas ended his night with 31 points and 15 rebounds for Houston (15-9, 4-7). Joseph Young had 25 points including a 12 for 14 mark from the free-throw line.

James Woodard had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Tulsa.

"I think the game itself kept us energized," said Woodard. "It kept us motivated to keep running and keep pushing. The fans stayed into it and gave us energy also. I think as a team we kept our focus on getting the win; and that's what we did."

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