66ers Take Double Overtime

“Thunder Night” at the Tulsa Convention Center had all of the exciting drama on and off the court, as Mustafa Shakur finished with a game-high 34 points, seven assists, six steals, and six rebounds to help the Tulsa 66ers defeat the Dakota Wizards 106-96 in double overtime Friday night. Oklahoma City Thunder assigned forward DJ White chipped in with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The 66ers started fast, going on a 12-3 run to start the game following two steals and a lay up by Shakur with 6:45 remaining in the first quarter.

The Wizards clawed to within five at 12-7 following a dunk by Memphis Grizzlies assigned center Hasheem Thabeet. But a dunk by Thunder assignee Byron Mullens sparked a 6-0 run for Tulsa that pushed their lead to the largest of the game at 18-7 with 4:19 left. The 66ers shot 9-for-17 from the field, with Shakur scoring 11 first quarter points, as they took a 24-16 lead into the break. Grizzlies assignee Lester Hudson scored four points, as the Wizards started the game 1-for-14 and shot 26.1 percent (6-23) in the period.

Tulsa built a 10-point advantage at 31-21 following a Marcus Lewis lay up with 7:30 remaining in the first half. But David Bell scored 10 points in the period, as the Wizards finished the half on a 22-3 run, giving them a 43-35 lead at halftime. The Wizards shot 52.4 percent (11-21) and turned the ball over only twice in the quarter. The 66ers shot 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) from the field, as they scored a season-low 11 second quarter points.

White led the charge for the 66ers after halftime, as he connected on five points and had a steal during a 15-5 run that gave them a 50-48 edge with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter. Both teams traded baskets the remainder of the period, as the 66ers were able to outscore the Wizards 25-20 in the quarter, but trailed 63-60 heading into the final period. Tulsa was able to force eight turnovers by the Wizards, and connected on 10-of-20 field goals, led by White and Larry Owens with seven points apiece in the quarter.  The Wizards shot 7-for-20 from the field, as Thabeet had five points and five rebounds in the third period.

The 66ers trailed the entire fourth quarter, and by as many as eight points with 5:39 on the clock, but Shakur scored nine of Tulsa’s next 11 points to get within 83-81 with 2:02 left in the game.  Two Renaldo Major free throws gave the Wizards a four-point advantage with 1:45 remaining, but two White tip ins within the final 20 seconds tied the game at 85 at the end of regulation.

In the first overtime, the Wizards quickly built a five-point edge at 92-87 following a Thabeet lay up with 2:45 remaining. Both Mullens and Thabeet had buckets with under a minute on the clock, then with 30 seconds left in the period, Owens hit a three-pointer to put the game into double-overtime tied at 95. Mullens and Thabeet each led their teams with four points in the first overtime.

The Wizards shots did not fall in the second overtime, as they connected on 1-of-7 from the field and were outscored 12-2 in the period. Shakur and White each scored four points, as the 66ers shot 3-for-6 in the period to earn their fourth straight home victory.

Dakota out rebounded Tulsa 64-46, but the 66ers had the advantage at the free throw line making 27-of-36 compared to 18-of-26 for the Wizards. The 66ers outscored the Wizards 71-53 in the second half and both overtimes combined.

Led by Shakur, the 66ers (21-16) finished with five players in double-figure scoring, as all five starters played over 40 minutes. Owens finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Mullens contributed 13 points and eight boards. Moses Ehambe came off the bench to score 11 points. Tulsa continues their four-games in five nights home stand on Sunday, Mar. 7 and Monday, Mar. 8 versus Fort Wayne.

The Wizards (22-17) finished with five players in double-figures, as Thabeet had 16 points and a game-high 18 boards before fouling out during the second overtime. Cheyne Gadsen also scored 16 points, while David Bell was the only starter in double-figures with 13. Major added 12 points and Darren Cooper put in 10. Dakota returns home to face Los Angeles on Sunday, Mar. 7 and a back-to-back set against Austin on Mar. 14 and 15.