Missouri State got a career-high 20 points from Dorrian Williams and overcame a double-figure deficit in the second half to turn back visiting Tulsa here Saturday, 96-93.
Still, the Bears earned the win at the foul line where they scored five points in the final 34.7 seconds to hold off Danny Manning’s surging Golden Hurricane down the stretch. It was Gulley who stood out in crunch time, snagging two key defensive rebounds and knocking down two charity shots in the final 12 seconds. Gulley’s final free throw put the Bears ahead 96-93 with 2.1 seconds remaining. Tulsa’s desperation shot from just inside mid court was off line to secure the comeback for Missouri State.
Earlier in the half, TU held off a surge by the Bears to take their biggest lead of the night. Emmanuel Addo’s hook shot started the second-half scoring for MSU and cut into the home team’s 43-39 halftime deficit. But Tulsa then reeled off the game’s next eight points over a 90-second stretch to push ahead 51-41 with 18:18 to play.
The Bears held strong over the next 10 minutes and eventually pulled even, 70-70, on a pair of free throws by Pickens with just over seven-and-a-half on the clock. Just over a minute later, Gulley brought the crowd to it’s feet with the go-ahead layup to start the game-winning rally.
Missouri State finished 9-for-15 from 3-point range as Marshall and Nathan Scheer dropped in key 3-pointers in the final 2:27. The Bears were an even 27-for-54 from the field and made 33-of-49 (.673) from the foul line, including 71.4 percent in the second half.
Marshall added a team-high 6 assists for Paul Lusk’s troops, while Gulley and Pickens led the maroon and white with six rebounds to help the home club to a 38-33 rebounding advantage.
Tulsa made 29-of-59 (.492) shots overall and 5-of-14 (.357) from long range. Six days after shooting 47 percent from the free throw line in their season opener, the Golden Hurricane made 30-of-38 (.789) foul shots against Missouri State. Tulsa committed just 6 turnovers on the night.