Scores

Final

Tulsa 69

(21-12, 13-3 C-USA)

Louisiana Tech 60

(27-7, 13-3 C-USA)

    Coverage: CBS

    11:35 AM ET, March 15, 2014

    Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas

    1 2 T
    TULSA 34 3569
    LT 35 2560

    Top Performers

    Tulsa: J. Woodard 27 Pts, 4 Reb

    Louisiana Tech: K. Smith 16 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Tulsa earns NCAA tournament berth with Conference USA title

    Associated Press

    EL PASO, Texas -- Danny Manning is taking Tulsa back to the NCAA tournament.

    James Woodard scored 27 points to lead the Golden Hurricane to its first NCAA berth since 2003 with a 69-60 victory Saturday against Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA tournament final.

    "It's an indescribable feeling," said Woodard, who is from Tulsa. "Growing up as a kid, you can't wait for March Madness. To be a part of that, this time around, and for us being so young as a team, it's definitely a dream come true."

    Woodard, who scored 18 points in the second half, made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to help Tulsa hold off the Bulldogs.

    Tulsa (21-12), which was the No. 2 seed, will carry an 11-game win streak into the tournament. Top-seeded Louisiana Tech came up short, extending an NCAA tournament drought dating to 1991.

    The Bulldogs (27-8) were led by Kenneth Smith with 16 points and Kenyon McNeail with 15. Alex Hamilton finished with 12.

    The Bulldogs led 35-34 at the half in a game with 16 lead changes. Neither team led by more than five points until Tulsa took control in the final 5 minutes, pushing the advantage to 10 points on a free throw by Woodard with 1:12 left.

    "This was a lot of fun," said Tulsa second-year head coach Manning, who won an NCAA title playing for Kansas in 1988. "It was a hard-fought game. Louisiana Tech is a talented team. We have three other teams in our league deserving of a bid."

    Louisiana Tech, which made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the first half and shot 45 percent from the field, cooled off in the second half. The Bulldogs, limited by a stingy Tulsa defense, shot 32 percent for the game. They went just 4 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half and 15 of 23 from the free-throw line.

    "Right now, I feel bad for the four seniors," Tech's Alex Hamilton said. "I just wish there was more could do. We came out on the short end. I feel bad for the guys."

    Meanwhile, Tulsa shot 72 percent from the line (18 of 25), 55 percent from 3-point range (5 of 9) and 43 percent from the field.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    TULSA
    LT
    Points 69 60
    FG Made-Attempted 23-53 (.434) 17-52 (.327)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-9 (.556) 11-25 (.440)
    FT Made-Attempted 18-25 (.720) 15-23 (.652)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 22 (0/0)

    2013-14 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    Feb 6, 2014 @LT 66, TULSA 61Recap
    » Mar 15, 2014 TULSA 69, @LT 60Recap