TULSA 79, EAST CAROLINA 72 — Scottie Haralson scored 22 points, James Woodard added 17 and Tulsa has a date with top seeded Memphis in the Conference USA tournament semifinals with a 79-72 win over East Carolina on Thursday night.
Tulsa (17-14) led 14-6 midway through the first half but watched the Pirates use a 24-11 rally to take a 30-25 lead at halftime. It wasn’t until Pat Swilling Jr. hit a 3-pointer with 2:35 to go before Tulsa was able to regain the lead at 66-65. The Golden Hurricane never trailed again.
Shaquille Harrison had 12 points and D’Andre Wright scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench for Tulsa.
Maurice Kemp led East Carolina (18-12) with 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
Tulsa will play No. 1 Memphis on Friday for a chance to play in the C-USA title game Saturday. The Golden Hurricane lost to Memphis 94-64 in their only matchup of the season Feb. 2.
VANDERBILT 75, ARKANSAS 72 — Kedren Johnson hit all four of his free throws in the final 19.8 seconds, and the 10th-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores upset No. 7 seed Arkansas 75-72 Thursday night in their first chance at defending their Southeastern Conference tournament championship at Nashville, Tenn.
The Commodores (15-16) lost the top six players off that title team with three now playing in the NBA. They will play No. 2 seed Kentucky in the quarterfinals Friday night in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
Arkansas (19-13) lost for the 12th time in 13 games away from Fayetteville including three times on neutral courts. Not even the fans calling the hogs helped it feel enough like home as the Razorbacks last led at 7-4.
Rod Odom led Vanderbilt with 20 points, Kyle Fuller had 19, Johnson finished with 13 and Dai-Jon Parker 11.
BJ Young led Arkansas with 16 points. Marshawn Powell had 13 before fouling out late and Michael Qualls added 10.
SAM HOUSTON STATE 58, ORAL ROBERTS 55 — ORU’s first trip to the Southland Conference Tournament was cut short on Thursday as the third-ranked Golden Eagles fell to No. 6 Sam Houston State inside the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.
Out-going seniors Warren Niles and Damen Bell-Holter powered ORU (18-14) in the loss. Niles tallied a game-high 19 points, while Bell-Holter had nine points but a game-high eight rebounds. Korey Billbury had a solid night with 12 points, two steals and just one turnover as ORU committed just nine turnovers as a team.
Sam Houston got 13 points from Paul Baxter and 12 from Terrance Motley in the victory.
ORU shot 60 percent (12-20) from the field in the first half but couldn’t buy a basket in the second, hitting just five of 23 shot attempts (21 percent). SHSU finished the game at 50 percent from the field, including seven 3-pointers.
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