MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., Sporting Alert – Teshaun Hightower scored 16 points and led four teammates in double-digit scoring and Tulane outpaced Utah 65-61 in the Myrtle Beach Invitational at The HTC Center on Sunday.
K.J. Lawson scored 14 points, Jordan Walker added 12 points, seven assists and four steals for the Green Wave (5-1), who shot 45.6 percent from the field claimed fifth place in the tournament.
Nobal Days chipped in with a season-high 10 points for Tulane, which won two in a row after losing 80-66 to Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Thursday.
“We’re really proud of our guys,” Tulane head coach Ron Hunter said. “I had talked about the last the seven months since I took this job, how were we going to handle adversity?
“In the past it’s been a struggle at Tulane. We got down eight, missed a dunk and our kids could have folded then. They just kept grinding on the defensive and I thought defensively we were unbelievable today.”
Timmy Allen led Utah with 14 points and eight rebounds, but also had a game-high seven turnovers.
Branden Carlson ended with 14 points on 7 of 11 shooting to go with five rebounds, while Rylan Jones finished with 11 points and six assists and Mikael Jantunen scored 10 points for the Utes (4-2).
As a team, Utah shot 47.9 percent and outrebounded Tulane 32-25, but went just 7 of 18 from 3-point range and turn the ball over 20 times.
The Green Wave led 32-31 after a closely contested first half, which saw the lead changing hands three times in the final 35 seconds of the opening half.
The second half also featured another well matched back-and-forth battle.
Overall, there were seven ties in the contest, while there were 19 lead changes.
With 4:36 left, Utah led 61-55, but Tulane rallied to score 10 unanswered to secure the win.
“We could have folded after the first game (of the tournament), but Coach (Hunter) said it’s a long tournament,” Hightower said. “We just stayed focus. We’re ready.”
Tulane will next be in action on Sunday, Dec. 1 against Southern University.
Utah will host UC Davis on Nov. 29 in its next outing.