The Tulsa 66ers were in control for most of the first half, but the Iowa Energy capitalized on 67-point second half to spoil Tulsa’s home opener during a high-scoring contest before 2,871 fans on Friday night at the Tulsa Convention Center. Iowa’s Othyus Jeffers poured in 32 points to lead all scorers as the Energy improved to 4-0. Larry Owens and Zabian Dowdell paced Tulsa with 22 points each as the 66ers fell to 1-2.
Former 66er Kyle Weaver added 20 points in his return to Tulsa as the Energy saw five players score in double figures. New Orleans Hornets first-round draft pick Cole Aldrich had eight points and four rebounds for Tulsa in 25-minutes of playing time. Aldrich, a standout at the University of Kansas, was acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder in a draft night trade. He was assigned to the 66ers by the Thunder earlier this week.
Tulsa, trailing by five with less than three minutes remaining in the opening quarter, used a 10-2 run to take a 29-26 lead into the first break. Owens was on fire early, as he led Tulsa with eight first quarter points.
Robert Vaden took over in the second quarter, as his 10 points helped the 66ers open up an 11-point lead before the Energy pulled back within six at the half. Tulsa’s 62-points were the most the team has scored in a half this season. The 66ers boasted four double-digit scorers at the half.
The tables would turn in the second half of the game, as the veteran-heavy Energy chipped away at the 66ers lead, using an 11-2 run through the middle of the third to take a five-point lead at the 6:22 mark. The two squads then traded the lead six times before the quarter ended with Iowa on top 92-89.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
A 7-2 run to open the final quarter would prove to be all the distance the Energy would need to secure the win. The 66ers would pull back within six on a pair of Tweety Carter free throws at the 9:33 mark of the fourth, but that would be as close as they could get as Iowa went on to out-score Tulsa 31-22 to remain undefeated.
The 66ers will play host to the Energy again tonight at the Convention Center with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.