Tulsa Drops Saturday Thriller to Albuquerque
Okla. - Ryan Humphrey secured his second straight double-double with a career-high 42 points and 11 rebounds, however it was not enough as the Tulsa 66ers lost to the Albuquerque Thunderbirds 120-114 Saturday night at the SpiritBank Event Center.
"When you are playing a professional basketball game on a back to back, fatigue can be a factor," 66ers Head Coach Paul Woolpert said. "It was tough tonight to take Ryan (Humphrey) out of the game, and he found some gaps in their defense."
Without the league-leading scorer Will Conroy due to a scratched cornea, the Thunderbirds utilized an advantage at the free throw line, shooting 40-of-47 compared to 12-of-17 for Tulsa, to help hold off the 66ers. Tulsa stayed in the game by shooting 52.2 percent from the field and by making 11 more field goals (48-37) than the Thunderbirds.
Led by Humphrey's 19 first quarter points, the 66ers held a 32-29 edge at the end of the quarter while shooting 65 percent. Albuquerque shot 52.2 percent from the field in the quarter, behind Jasper Johnson's 10 points in the period.
Tulsa built a 12-point advantage, their largest lead of the game in the second quarter. Gary Ervin had eight points and four assists in the period, as the 66ers started a 26-15 run from the beginning of the quarter until a Gary Forbes layup pushed the score to 58-46 with 2:50 remaining in the half.
Led by Johnson's 12 points in the quarter, the Thunderbirds started an 18-7 run at 6:06 left in the third quarter, to tie the game at 84 headed into the final stanza.
Johnson scored 14 of his team-high 42 points in the fourth quarter, and grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds. Keith McLeod also finished with a double-double for Albuquerque with 29 points and 11 assists, as he shot 16-of-20 from the free throw line. Antoine Agudio finished with 18 points off the bench, and David Noel added 12 points.
Tulsa finished with a 66-to-50 advantage in points in the paint, and a 25-to-16 advantage in team assists for the game.
Led by Humphrey, the 66ers finished with five players in double-figures scoring. Keith Clark had 20 points and eight rebounds, while Jeremy Kelly and Derrick Dial each finished with 15 points. Forbes added 12 points.
Albuquerque (16-12) continues their road trip in Austin on Tuesday, Feb. 24 and Thursday, Feb. 26. Tulsa (7-24) remains at home to face the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Friday, Feb. 27 and then hosts Austin on Saturday,
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