See It, Shoot It, Send It

Bighorns down 66ers

Updated: Friday, December 20 2013, 02:11 PM PST
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TULSA, OK - Reno guard K.C. Rivers seemed to have an answer for every Tulsa challenge on Thursday night.

Rivers nailed a tie-breaking 3-pointer from the right side with 41 seconds to play to thwart a late Tulsa rally and vault the visiting Bighorns to an 88-86 NBA D-League victory before a crowd of 1,052 at the SpiritBank Event Center.

The loss extended Tulsa's losing streak to six games. The 66ers have won just one of their 11 games this season.

Tulsa trailed 78-71 with 4:47 remaining, but a traditional 3-point play by Mario Little, who finished with 23 points, ignited a 10-3 run. That run was capped by Little's 3-pointer from the right corner that knotted the contest at 81 with 2:29 to play.

Ben Uzoh also had four free throws in the spree, part of a 7-for-7 night at the line for the Tulsa point guard, as he led all scorers with a season-high 23 points.

"Everything started with our defense," Tulsa coach Darko Rajakovic said, describing his team's comeback effort.

"We were then able to finish our offensive possessions early in the shot clock and get good shots for us."

The 66ers, who forced Reno (4-6) into 23 turnovers on the night and converted those miscues into 25 points, actually grabbed an 83-81 lead as Xavier Alexander followed a missed Little layup with a putback basket with 2:04 to play.

But back-to-back possessions in which Tulsa failed to get off a shot proved to be costly.

Reno, which saw all 10 players who suited up score at least three points, tied the contest a seventh and final time at 83 on two free throws by Mo Charlo with 1:22 left.

That set the stage for Rivers' key 3-pointer, his third of the evening and one of nine for the Bighorns in the game.

Rivers, a Clemson product, scored Reno's first points of the game on a 3-pointer after the 66ers opened the contest with four unanswered points.

Rivers' basket triggered nine consecutive points for the Bighorns as Reno took the lead midway through the first quarter and held it until just before halftime.

Tulsa rallied to grab a 39-38 advantage on a fast-break layup by Maurice Sutton with just 2:31 to go in the second quarter.

But Reno ended the first half on a 6-0 run, highlighted by a pair of baskets by Tajuan Porter, to take a 44-39 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Despite the slow start to the season, Rajakovic says his team continues to seek improvement.

"Every day is a new opportunity to get better," he said. "We need to find a way to make fewer turnovers. I am really proud of our team's effort."
Bighorns down 66ers
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