February 22, 2011
TU hits final stretch of regular season
The Golden Hurricane was a half-game out of the Conference USA lead after a Feb. 19 win over SMU thanks in no small part to its bench.
In the team's four league losses through Feb. 19, the reserves had averaged 7.8 points per game. In the team's first eight league wins this year, the bench averaged 23.1 points.
And it all seemed to be about freshman guard Jordan Clarkson.
"I thought Jordan Clarkson was terrific tonight for a freshman," East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo said after Clarkson had 17 points off the bench to lead Tulsa to a win over the Pirates on Feb. 16. "You add Jordan Clarkson to the mix in scoring -- you have Steven Idlet down in the post -- you have four guys on the court that can score for them. They're really hard to match up with at that point."
In the team's eight C-USA victories through Feb. 19, Clarkson averaged 12.8 points per game and hit double-figure scoring in six of those games, including back-to-back 17-point games in wins Feb. 16 (East Carolina) and Feb. 19 (SMU).
The 17 points scored against the Mustangs on Feb. 19 were 12 more than he scored when Tulsa lost to SMU at home on Jan. 26.
Clarkson's success off the bench in C-USA play had been the biggest difference between Tulsa being a solid, middle-of-the pack league team and a regular-season title contender.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial