Tulsa basketball coach Frank Haith resigns after 8 years

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TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa basketball coach Frank Haith resigned Saturday, ending an eight-year run with Golden Hurricane.

Tulsa finished the season 11-20 on Friday with a loss to SMU in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals. The Golden Hurricane were 4-4 in regular-season conference play.

“I have enjoyed my time at The University of Tulsa and coaching the many young men who have made us proud as student-athletes and as they have gone on to live their lives after college,” the 56-year-old Haith said in a statement. “My family and I will cherish the memories we have made here at the university and in the community.:

Haith was 139-108 at Tulsa. He coached Miami from 2004-11 and Missouri from 2011-14.

No. 14 USF women return after month absence, beat Tulsa

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TAMPA, Fla. — Bethy Mununga had 19 points and 15 rebounds and No. 14 South Florida played its first game in a month, beating Tulsa 67-46 on Saturday.

USF (11-1, 8-0 American Athletic Conference), which hasn’t played since Jan. 13 due to COVID-19 issues within the program, won its program-best 10th straight game including eight by double digits.

Sydni Harvey made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for the Bulls. Elisa Pinzan had 13 points and matched a career best with six steals. The pair each had seven of the Bulls’ 19 assists. Mihaela Lazic added 10 points.

Wyvette Mayberry scored 18 points off the bench to lead Tulsa (5-9, 4-9), which is winless against the Bulls (0-9). The Golden Hurricane missed 14 of 15 from long range and finished 18-of-62 shooting (29%) from the floor.

Mununga had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half as USF closed on a 10-0 run for 33-20 halftime advantage. The Bulls held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

USF hosts Cincinnati on Wednesday. Tulsa, which looks to end a three-game losing streak, plays Temple at home on Wednesday.

Sasser, No. 6 Houston beat SMU 70-48 for 8th straight win

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HOUSTON — Marcus Sasser scored 19 points and No. 6 Houston beat SMU 70-48 on Sunday for its eighth straight win.

Sasser bounced back to make five of his last 10 shots. After scoring just three points in a victory over Tulane on Thursday, he opened 0 for 5 against the Mustangs.

“My teammates kept telling me every time I went to the bench, `Keep shooting the ball,”‘ Sasser said. “Coach (Kelvin Sampson) tells me all the time he doesn’t care how many I miss, just keep shooting. Even when I am off to a bad start like that, I keep shooting and gaining confidence because my teammates put that confidence in me even though I miss.”

Justin Gorham had nine points and 17 rebounds for Houston (15-1, 10-1 American Athletic Conference), which won its 20th consecutive home game. Reggie Chaney added 10 points.

The Cougars won despite shooting only 34%.

“I thought our offense was great the first half, we just weren’t making open shots,” Sampson said. “Look at how many open shots we missed, look at how many shots around the rim we were missing. I told our guys, `Don’t worry about that, you’ll make them.”‘

Houston outrebounded SMU 45-33 and committed 10 turnovers.

“Our defense has been getting better,” Sampson said. “There are three core tenets of our program – our defense, our rebounding and taking care of the ball. I thought we were outstanding in all three areas.”

Kendric Davis led SMU (9-4, 5-4) with 11 points. Feron Hunt and Yor Anei each scored 10 points for the Mustangs, who made 32% percent of their shots.

“I thought in the first half we played incredibly hard, boxed out, kept them off the glass,” SMU assistant coach Yaphett King said. “We did battle with them, but in the second half, they kept coming, kept coming. We didn’t match that intensity, which I wish we would have because I think if we could have hung in there, some shots would have started to fall, and we would have gotten some confidence from it.”

Houston led 28-24 at halftime, then went on a 14-3 run, capped by Gorham’s three-point play with 16 minutes left.


SMU: Coach Tim Jankovich missed his fourth straight game due to COVID-19 after first feeling symptoms on Jan. 21 and testing positive four days later. The Mustangs missed all eight 3-pointers they tried in the second half.

Houston: Gorham became the first Cougars player with eight straight double-digit rebounding games since Tim Moore did it eight games in a row during the 1995-96 season. Quentin Grimes, who entered averaging a team-high 17.6 points per game, finished with six points and six rebounds, snapping a streak of 13 straight double-figure scoring games.

“Rebounding is heart, and nobody’s heart is bigger than Justin’s,” Sampson said. “Justin has gotten better. He has fully embraced rebounding. It couldn’t have been a better match.”


Hunt’s layup just over two minutes into the game put SMU ahead 2-0 – it was the first time the Cougars were behind in over 189 minutes. Before Sunday, the Cougars last trailed with 13:02 remaining in the first half against Tulane on Jan. 9, a span stretching almost five games.


SMU: Plays at Tulsa on Wednesday.

Houston: Plays at East Carolina on Wednesday.

Sasser scores 26, No. 8 Houston defeats Tulsa, 86-59

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HOUSTON — Marcus Sasser scored 26 points, Quentin Grimes added 18 points and seven rebounds and No. 8 Houston avenged its only loss with an 86-59 win over Tulsa on Wednesday night.

Sasser, who scored 18 points in the first half, finished 8 of 15 from the field, including 6 of 12 on 3-pointers. Tramon Mark had 11 points and six rebounds for the Cougars.

Houston (12-1, 7-1 American) shot 43%, including 13 of 32 on 3-pointers. The Cougars outrebounded Tulsa 52-24, which included a 25-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. Houston had a 26-7 advantage in second-chance points.

“The more you miss, we are going to send four to the glass,” Houston forward J’Wan Roberts said. “I think that wears teams out when we get two, three, four possessions back-to-back. The more we crash (the glass) and do what we have to do, we are going to get a big lead every time.”

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said the Cougars made a concerted effort to work this week on guards grabbing the defensive rebound to speed up the offensive pace.

“When you work on something and you emphasize it, it just makes you feel great when you can carry it over to the game,” Sampson said. “Our possessions have been down lately, and we made a concerted effort to play faster.”

The Cougars won their fifth straight since falling to the Golden Hurricane 65-64 in Tulsa on Dec. 29. Houston has not trailed in 114 minutes, dating back to the first half against Tulane on Jan. 9, a span of nearly three games.

“As time goes by, you should be getting better,” Sampson said. “During the basketball season, your team is a lot like an elevator. You’re either going up or you’re going down, but you’re never standing still. One of the things that our teams have been known for forever really is we get better as the season goes on.”

Brandon Rachal scored 18 points, and Keshawn Williams added 10 points for Tulsa (8-5, 5-3). The Golden Hurricane shot 37% and were 7 of 22 on 3-pointers.

“Tough, tough night for us,” Tulsa coach Frank Haith said. “That first couple minutes of the ballgame, they set the tone. They were way more tougher, physical, played faster and it showed. We just didn’t compete like you needed to compete against a team like this on the road.”

Houston used a 23-3 run over an eight-minute stretch of the first half to open up a 29-9 lead, punctuated by a 3-pointer by Sasser, who had 13 points in the stretch.

The Cougars ended the first half on a 7-0 run, capped by a dunk by Brison Gresham and took a 45-19 lead into halftime.


Tulsa: Houston’s 86 points were the most allowed by Tulsa this season. The Golden Hurricane entered as the second-best defense in the American, allowing 60.9 points per game. Tulsa’s 19 first-half points tied for the lowest the Golden Hurricane has scored in the first half this season.

“They were very aggressive,” Haith said. “They scored in transition. They kept us off the glass. They kicked our butts.”

Houston: Sasser’s 26 points were the most a player has scored against Tulsa this season. Houston forced Tulsa into 18 turnovers, which the Cougars turned into 26 points. Houston committed 15 turnovers. The Cougars had a 32-20 advantage in points in the paint.


Following a scrum for a loose ball less than two minutes into the second half, Gresham was issued a technical foul, and after another battle for a loose ball 10 minutes later, DeJon Jarreau and Elijah Joiner were each issued technical fouls. The teams combined for 35 fouls.


Tulsa: Hosts Tulane on Saturday.

Houston: Travels to Temple on Saturday. The Cougars’ originally scheduled game against Cincinnati on Saturday was postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases and contact tracing at Cincinnati.

Marcus Sasser, Caleb Mills lead No. 6 Houston past UCF 63-54

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Marcus Sasser scored 19 points and Caleb Mills delivered seven of his 12 points in the closing minutes to help sixth-ranked Houston pull away to a 63-54 victory over UCF on Saturday.

The Cougars (7-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) overcame cold shooting by holding UCF (3-2, 1-1) to one field goal over the final 8:50 to remain unbeaten and deny the Knights a second win over a Top 25 opponent in a week.

As good as Houston was defensively down the stretch, though, UCF was just as tough on the Cougars. Mills was the only Houston player to score from the field in the final seven minutes, driving the baseline for a layup that made it 50-45 and adding a three-point play that put his team up 57-48 with just over a minute to go.

The Cougars went 11 for 11 from the foul line in the final 2:24 to put the game away. Dejon Jarreau hit the last four free throws to finish with 10 points.

Brandon Mahan led UCF with 13 points. Darin Green Jr. added 12.


Houston: The Cougars survived their first true road test of the season, improving to 3-0 since resuming play following a 15-day break due to COVID-19 concerns. Four games were either postponed or canceled during the stretch, including a scheduled home date against UCF on Dec. 15.

UCF: A week after beating then-No. 15 Florida State on the road, the Knights were unable to pull off another upset. In just over four seasons under coach Johnny Dawkins, UCF has won five games against ranked opponents. The Knights had three such wins total in the 22-year span prior to Dawkins’ arrival.


Houston: At Tulsa on Tuesday.

UCF: Remains at home to face conference rival Tulane on Wednesday.

Couisnard scores 20, South Carolina beats Tulsa 69-58

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jermaine Couisnard scored 20 points, AJ Lawson added 17 points, and South Carolina beat Tulsa 69-58 on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Classic.

South Carolina trailed 51-49 with 10:47 left after Tulsa’s 11-3 run. But the Gamecocks answered with a 15-0 spurt -with five points from Lawson – to push their lead into double figures for the rest of the way.

Tulsa went scoreless for nine-plus minutes in the second half, missing 13 consecutive field goals.

Couisnard and Lawson, who led the Gamecocks last season with 13.4 points a game, each made four 3-pointers as South Carolina (1-1) was 9 of 23 from distance. Keyshawn Bryant had his streak of six straight games in double-figure scoring snapped as he finished with two points in 18 minutes.

The teams combined for 44 turnovers.

Brandon Rachal scored 14 points for Tulsa (0-2), and Keyshawn Embery-Simpson and Elijah Joiner each added 11 points. Joiner also grabbed seven rebounds and Embery-Simpson scored all of his points in the first half. Tulsa was just 4 of 17 from 3-point range.

South Carolina is scheduled to play at Houston on Saturday, while Tulsa opens its home schedule against UT Arlington on Friday.