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January 12, 2014

TU holds off Southern Miss, 75-71

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - James Woodard scored 18 points, including three free throws in the final minute, as Tulsa held on to beat Southern Miss 75-71 on Sunday.

Woodard made just 4 of 13 field goals for Tulsa (7-9, 2-0 C-USA) but missed only one of his 10 free throw attempts. Pat Swilling Jr. added 17 points and D'Andre Wright had 10 and nine rebounds.

"We played a great game today on the defensive side of the ball and executed when it counted," said Tulsa head coach Danny Manning. "Both teams really put everything into the game. There was a high level of intensity and a lot of effort. At the end of the day, I thought it was a pretty fun game.

"We went into the game knowing that this was going to be a defensive battle. It was going to be a grind. Southern Miss is physical and plays great defense and to beat them is big."

Jerrold Brooks led Southern Miss (14-3, 1-1) with 15 points. Michael Craig finished with 10 points and his layup with 10 seconds left pulled Southern Miss within two-points at 73-71. Tulsa's Rashad Ray made two free throws to seal the victory.

Tulsa broke the game open after a 10-0 run extended its lead to 51-38 with 11:30 left. Swilling started and ended the run with 3-pointers.

"Pat has a short memory," said Manning. "That is the way all good shooters are. They just can't remember their misses. Pat has that mentality. Every shot is a new experience. He takes tough shots. We always want him to be aggressive, and he certainly was today."

Three Neil Watson free throws pulled Southern Miss within 67-64 but Tulsa made 8 of 10 free throws the rest of the way.

Up next for Tulsa is a two-game road swing against Charlotte on Thursday (Jan. 16) and Marshall on Saturday (Jan. 18).

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