Tulsa shoots lights out to upset No. 4 DaytonPosted: Friday March 21, 2003 1:15 AM
Updated: Friday March 21, 2003 2:02 AM
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Jason Parker and his Tulsa teammates put on a shooting clinic that overwhelmed the Dayton Flyers.
Parker scored 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, Dante Swanson was 8-of-15 for 24 points and Kevin Johnson added 16 points on a 7-of-10 effort as 13th-seeded Tulsa surprised No. 4 Dayton 84-71 Thursday night.
"We came in really relaxed," said Jarius Glenn, who scored 11 points. "We didn't have the feeling we had to play a great game or be superstars."
The Golden Hurricane (23-9), who have won eight straight games, will play Wisconsin (23-7) in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Saturday. The Badgers advanced with an 81-74 win over Weber State.
Keith Waleskowski had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Dayton (24-6), which earned the No. 4 seed after winning the Atlantic 10 tournament on its homecourt last weekend. Ramod Marshall scored 21 and Sean Finn had 12.
Tulsa built a 46-33 halftime lead on 66 percent shooting, but the Flyers rallied from an 18-point deficit by tightening the defense. Tulsa went scoreless for 3:29 midway through the second half, and Dayton's 9-3 burst made it a game again.
"We shot the ball exceptionally well in the first half, but we went in at halftime knowing Dayton wasn't going away," Tulsa coach John Phillips said. "We got tentative and made some mistakes. When Dayton caught up, we relied on our defense again."
Nate Green's two free throws with 11:33 to play pulled the Flyers to 57-53, and it was 66-62 with 6:44 remaining when Marshall sliced down the lane and scored.
It helped Dayton's comeback that the Hurricane didn't shoot a single free throw until there was 6:09 remaining.
"When the outside shots are falling in, you've got to go to that," Johnson said. "And we did not get as many fouls as we usually get."
Dayton kept coming, tying it at 67 when Brooks Hall came off a screen and swished a 3-pointer with 5:15 to go.
The Flyers had a disputed call go against them with 2:04 to play. Trailing 72-69, Finn slammed home a miss by Hall, but the basket was ruled offensive interference. TV replays seemed to show Finn's hand wasn't over the cylinder.
"I was stunned the call was made," Flyers coach Oliver Purnell said. "First, I thought there was a foul on the drive to the basket. When we didn't get the foul and Sean came over and put it in and then it was called off, I was just shocked."
Hall refused to pin the loss on a single call, though.
"You can't blame the game on one play," he said. "We dug a hole for ourselves in the first half and couldn't get out of it."
The Hurricane closed with a 12-2 run to seal the win.
Tulsa shot 57 percent (33-of-57), bolstered by a torrid first half in which the Hurricane made 11 straight baskets at one point. Johnson scored with 8:56 left before halftime, giving Tulsa a 32-14 lead.
Tulsa won the WAC tournament for the first time in seven years of conference membership and came into the NCAAs on a streak. After going 11-7 through January, the Golden Hurricane won 11 of 13.
Dayton, arguably one of the most balanced teams in the NCAA tournament, earned a No. 4 seed with a strong season. The Flyers had won 20 of 23 games and six in a row, aided by a 17-1 homecourt record and the title from the A-10 tournament last weekend.
But some questioned how the Flyers would perform away from UD Arena, and they seemed out of their comfort zone for much of the night. Dayton finished 7-5 away from home this season.
"We didn't play our team defense we usually play," Hall said.
"We didn't help out or communicate. I give them credit. But it was
not as much what they did as it was what we didn't do."