This game wasn't pretty - as the 30 combined missed field goal attempts in the first quarter would probably lead you to believe. Still, Iowa would lead 53-40 at halftime behind a second half surge of Energy before Tulsa's three-point shooting (and Iowa's lack thereof) in the second half sealed a 117-106 victory to force a deciding game three Tuesday night in Iowa.
First, the Monstars:
- Jo'Van "Wink" Adams, everyone. Like fellow former UNLV point guard Kevin Kruger did for the Utah Flash in the first round, Adams got hot from beyond the arc in Iowa to lead the 66ers with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. After finishing the first half with an underwhelming seven points and two assists as Tulsa's starting point guard (due to the Mustafa Shakur recall), he was able to settle the 66ers down and get his teammates open baskets on the way to a huge 77 point second half outburst - while scoring a fair amount himself. 24 points, 4-of-6 shooting from three-point territory and six assists are the takeaways from his performance.
- Deron Washington had a nice beginning to the third quarter to help keep/get Tulsa within striking distance, so I'm going to give him the second star as he finished with 20 points and eight boards on 7-of-11 shooting. His biggest contribution to this game was rattling off nine points within the first two minutes of the second half while matched up with an undersized, ankle-injured Curtis Stinson. I know, that's not saying much, but he was smart enough to take advantage of the mismatch. He then picked up a flagrant, a technical and a couple other stupid fouls to accumulate less than 24 minutes of playing time before fouling out, but he was Tulsa's only offensive contributor for much of the first half of the game.
- Mark Tyndale is getting my third star because he was the best player on the losing team. He came off the bench, slashed to the rack a bunch and played with passion on his way to 22 points on 12 shots (9-of-11 from the free-throw line) while picking up seven rebounds. In the post game interview, Iowa coach Nick Nurse said that he inserted newly-acquired Denham Brown right into the starting lineup because Tyndale is better off the bench - I will agree.
- Bonus fourth star: Latavious Williams. 2010 NBA DRAFT ELIGIBLE LATAVIOUS WILLIAMS. His 10 points and nine boards don't necessarily jump out as impressive in the box score, but he played very well. He also had a huge putback slam to put Tulsa up 79-78 for their first lead since early in the second quarter.
Nonstars are as follows:
- Jeff Trepagnier made 3-of-12 field goal attempts for just seven points in 30+ minutes of action. Nurse sat him for awhile in the second half, but he really has to take the green light away until he finds some semblance of his shot again. Yuck.
- Pat Carroll shot 3-of-15 for the game, despite sitting less than three minutes. Iowa cannot win with these guys combing to shoot 6-of-27 from the field.
- Just to hammer home the Energy's shooting woes, point guard Curtis Stinson missed SIXTEEN shots from the field. He still finished with a box score impressive 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but there's no reason that he, as a point guard, should attempt 28% of his teams shots. He also jawed quite a bit with Tulsa, leading to a technical and a 7-0 Tulsa run.