Monday, December 10, 2007

tulsa news

Ben Uzoh set career highs with 28 points and 14 rebounds Sunday to help Tulsa snap a three-game losing streak with a 65-52 victory against Central Arkansas.

The Golden Hurricane (3-5) rallied from a six-point halftime deficit with a 21-5 run to start the second half. Uzoh had the highlight of the run when he stole a pass, got fouled during a slam dunk and converted the three-point play. Calvin Walls followed that with a tip-in that gave Tulsa a 46-36 edge.

Uzoh's 3-pointer with 2:41 to play pushed Tulsa's lead to 59-45 and got him past his previous career scoring best ― a 23-point performance in his college debut last season.

"This win was crucial for us," Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said. "We regained our identity as a team that works hard and plays defense. We just could not make a basket. But it was a phenomenal effort by Ben Uzoh."

Nate Bowie scored 22 points to lead Central Arkansas (8-2), and Marcus Pillow added 11.

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The Bears had won eight straight games after losing their season opener at Kentucky, and they got out to a strong start against cold-shooting Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane shot only 25 percent in the first half and trailed 31-25 at the break.

Uzoh went 8-for-16 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range to offset poor shooting performances by Rod Earls (1-for-11) and Jerome Jordan (1-for-8), and Walls finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Tulsa outrebounded Central Arkansas 47-31 and held the Bears to 35 percent shooting. The Golden Hurricane had allowed two of their last three opponents to shoot over 50 percent after never allowing that to happen in Wojcik's first two seasons at Tulsa.

An additional one-quarter to one-half inch of ice accumulation is possible Monday in northeast Oklahoma, as the current winter storm isn't expected to exit the region until Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

"We think we'll get worse before we get better," said Steve Piltz, a forecaster with the weather service in Tulsa.

"I would think by (Monday) morning, it's going to be real slick and there's going to be more power outages. If this next batch of ice comes through, it will take down even more power lines."

As of Sunday evening, forecasters categorized the current storm as a "two" on a scale of ice storm severity from one to four, Piltz said.

"It's kind of an experimental scale we've been developing so that we can let the power companies know what to expect," he said.

A "four" on the scale was the ice storm last January, which left about 125,000 people in the state without power and resulted in 32 deaths.

"Right now we've had a decent ice storm, but we could get worse," Piltz said Sunday.

A chance of rain and freezing rain is in the forecast for Monday afternoon and evening, with additional chances for rain on Tuesday.

However, forecasters expect highs Tuesday to reach the upper 30s in the Tulsa area before the storm system finally exits the area by Wednesday night.

Piltz said a major factor for additional ice in the Tulsa area Monday will be the temperature.

"We're hoping it will get to 33 (degrees)," he said. "It should do it, but if it suddenly stayed 31 instead of 33, it could make a big difference."

Areas north of Tulsa, such as Bartlesville, Vinita, Nowata and Miami ― already hit hard by the storm ― could face additional accumulations over the next two days, as temperatures in those areas aren't expected to rise above freezing, he said.

The potential for additional ice accumulation of onequarter to one-half an inch extends from a line north of Bentonville, Ark., to Eufaula, he said.

Much of the state was under an ice storm warning through Monday.

The warning was in effect until noon in Tulsa, Osage, Washington, Nowata, Craig, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers, Mayes, Delaware, Creek, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Wagoner, Cherokee, Muskogee and McIntosh counties.


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