Men's Basketball: Huskies' skid continues with double-OT loss in Tulsa

 Tulsa's Corey Henderson Jr. shoots a 3-pointer while Connecticut's Isaiah Whaley defends during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Tulsa, Okla. (Jessie Wardarski/Tulsa World via AP)

Tulsa's Corey Henderson Jr. shoots a 3-pointer while Connecticut's Isaiah Whaley defends during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Tulsa, Okla. (Jessie Wardarski/Tulsa World via AP)

The UConn men’s basketball team lost their fourth consecutive game Wednesday night in heartbreaking fashion as they fell 90-88 to Tulsa in double overtime at the Reynolds Center.

Corey Henderson Jr. had a career night to lead the Golden Hurricane (10-5, 3-0 The American), scoring 30 points on 8-for-15 shooting from 3-point range. Henderson Jr. also hit an incredibly difficult 3-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation and send it to overtime.

Jalen Adams had 29 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Huskies (7-7, 0-2 The American) in 50 minutes of action. Christian Vital added 22 points and Terry Larrier put up 19.

With the loss, UConn remained winless in American Athletic Conference play and fell to 0-4 all-time at Tulsa’s Reynolds Center.

UConn opened with a starting lineup of Adams, Vital, Larrier, Isaiah Whaley and Josh Carlton, and it paid off in the opening minute as Carlton opened the game with a hook shot. He wouldn’t play much more than that, however, fouling out in just six minutes of play.

Henderson Jr. opened the game for Tulsa with his first 3-pointer, kicking off a night of hot shooting from the outside for the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa went 17-for-41 from deep (41.5 percent), the most 3-point makes in a single game ever allowed by UConn.

The first half was mostly a back-and-forth affair, with UConn playing some of its best offensive ball in a while but giving points back with poor perimeter defense on the other end. The Huskies shared the ball much better than they normally do, finishing with 18 assists.

A pair of Henderson Jr. 3-pointers in the final minutes of the half gave Tulsa a 42-36 advantage going into the break.

UConn tied the game with six quick points to start the second half but Tulsa gradually shot their way to a game-high nine-point advantage with 13:51 remaining. Vital dragged the Huskies back within two with 9:51 left by hitting four 3-pointers over a four-minute stretch.

The Huskies grabbed a 65-64 lead with 7:17 left on a bucket from Whaley, and while Tulsa took the lead right back with a bucket from leading scorer Junior Etou (10 points on 3-for-15 shooting), they wouldn’t lead again until overtime.

Adams gave UConn a four-point lead with 57 seconds left by completing an athletic and-one finish, and responded to a Henderson Jr. three with a long jumper 45 seconds later.

However, Henderson Jr. would not be denied, hitting a heavily contested corner three with five seconds left to tie the game at 75 apiece and force overtime.

Just eight points were scored in the first five-minute overtime period, with many of UConn’s players seemingly worn down by extended minutes. The Huskies had the ball out of bounds with a one-point lead and 11 seconds left, but they turned it off and allowed Tulsa’s Elijah Joiner to get to the line for two free throws.

Joiner only hit one of two, leading to a second overtime period.

Tulsa led by one point with 29 seconds left when Vital attempted a wide open 3-pointer for the lead, but his shot was off the mark and the Golden Hurricane grabbed the rebound. Adams kept the Huskies within one possession with four points in the final minute, and the Huskies had a chance to tie the game down 90-88 with 10 second left after a missed Tulsa free throw.

Adams missed a wild attempt in the lane, and after an offensive rebound, Larrier missed a long 3-pointer that would have won the game, allowing Tulsa to escape with a 90-88 win.

UConn will look to end their slide Saturday when they host East Carolina at the XL Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m.


Tyler Keating is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu. He tweets @tylerskeating.