TEN TOP MOMENTS Tulsa - Wichita State History

#1 - WILLIE BILES SETS TULSA MEN’S BASKETBALL SINGLE GAME POINTS RECORD

MARCH 3, 1973

When it comes to single game scoring charts, Willie Biles has his name etched into stone. Of the top 10 single game scoring performances in Tulsa Men’s Basketball history, 6 of the top scoring highs come from Mr. Biles. On March 3, 1973, the final game of the ’72 – ‘73 season, Willie Biles put up 48 points to lead Tulsa to a 97-91 victory over Wichita State.

Biles’ 48 point performance was the greatest individual scoring output in Tulsa history and would only be matched one other time. The next season, Willie Biles came out against St. Cloud and put up another 48 point performance.

#2 - FIRST TIME IN NCAA HISTORY THAT TWO PLAYERS FROM THE SAME TEAM RECORD 200+ YARDS RUSHING IN THE SAME GAME

NOVEMBER 2, 1985

1985 was Tulsa’s final season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference for football. The 1985 Tulsa team would go on to win their sixth straight league championship, but not before defeating Wichita State and making history.

For the first time in NCAA history, two players from the same team each rushed for over 200 yards in a game. Running Back Gordon Brown rushed for 214 yards on 23 carries while Quarterback Steve Gage added 206 yards of his own on 26 rushes.

Since Tulsa made history, only 4 other tandems have been able to reach such a historic milestone. Michigan State (1997), West Virginia (2006), Ball State (2009), and Wisconsin (2012) were the four other schools to add their names to the record book.

#3 - TULSA DEFEATS THE #9 RANKED WICHITA STATE SHOCKERS, THE HIGHEST RANKED TEAM TULSA HAS EVER BEATEN IN THE REYNOLDS CENTER

NOVEMBER 17, 2015

The #9 ranked Wichita State Shockers became the highest ranked team to fall in Reynolds Center history when Tulsa defeated them in the second game of the 2015 season. The 77-67 win was fueled by a strong second half from the Golden Hurricane, who had gone in to the locker room down one point at the half.

In a game in which Ron Baker scored 23 points for the Shockers, Tulsa relied on strong performances from a bevy of senior leaders to pull out the victory. Shaquille Harrison led Tulsa with 20 points. Marquel Curtis (16 points), Pat Birt (14 points), and James Woodard (13 points) also all finished in double digits to give Tulsa a marquee win.

#4 - THE FIRST FOOTBALL MEETING BETWEEN TULSA AND WICHITA STATE

OCTOBER 20, 1928

The first gridiron meeting between Tulsa and Wichita State came in 1928, played at McNulty Park in Tulsa, Okla. Led by TU Hall of Fame head coach Elmer “Gloomy Gus” Henderson, Tulsa defeated Wichita State 46-0. That victory was just one of the five shutouts the Tulsa team delivered over the course of the season, which included a 31-0 victory in Stillwater over Oklahoma State.

#5 - THE FIRST OF 126 BASKETBALL MEETINGS BETWEEN TULSA AND WICHITA STATE

DECEMBER 20, 1930

The first time Tulsa and Wichita State ever went head to head in basketball was in 1930. Oliver Hodge took Tulsa up to Wichita, Kan., where TU prevailed 32-30. That game was the first of 126 meetings between the two programs, a back and forth series over the years.

Tulsa has not played any team more often than Wichita State over the years, beginning as non-conference opponents when Tulsa was in the Big Four. Then the two schools became conference rivals as members of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) where Tulsa resided from 1934 until 1996. The two continued to play regularly after Tulsa left the MVC.

For the first time in 20 seasons the two schools will compete against each other once again as conference foes when Wichita State joins the conference for the 2017-18 season.

#6 - 61-0 SHUTOUT TO KICK OFF THE 1945 FOOTBALL SEASON

SEPTEMBER 22, 1945

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane team was coming off an impressive 1944 campaign that included wins against Kansas, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Miami (FL) and was capped off by an Orange Bowl victory over #13 Georgia Tech.

The 1945 team picked up where they had left off the previous season, rolling over Wichita State in the season opener. The 61-0 shutout victory was led by head coach Henry Frnka in his final season leading the Golden Hurricane. That team would finish the year ranked 17th in the country by the Associated Press, one of four times in a five year span from 1942 to 1946 that Tulsa finished the year as a Top 25 team.

#7 - 13 GAME TULSA WINNING STREAK IS THE LONGEST BY EITHER TEAM IN BASKETBALL SERIES

1993 – 2002

In a series as long as the one between Tulsa and Wichita State on the basketball court, it is remarkable that both teams have won 60+ games against each other. This series has pitted two incredibly even teams against each other a number of times, leading to back and forth results throughout the history.

From 1993 until 2002, the series became less even however, as Tulsa won 13 straight men’s basketball games versus Wichita State. Five different coaches led Tulsa to those victories, beginning with Tubby Smith and ending with John Phillips. In fact, the three coaches in between Smith and Phillips, Steve Robinson, Bill Self, and Buzz Peterson, never once lost to Wichita State during their Tulsa tenures.

#8 - TULSA DEFEATS #16 WICHITA STATE IN DOUBLE OVERTIME, DAVID BROWN HITS TWO FREE THROWS IN FINAL SECOND TO SEAL VICTORY

FEBRUARY 16, 1981

Nolan Richardson’s first season in Tulsa was a memorable one, leading the Golden Hurricane to the NIT Championship, claiming the title with an 86-84 overtime victory against Syracuse. Tulsa was prepared for that overtime contest in part due to multiple overtime victories over the course of the 1980-81 season.

The most significant of those regular season overtime wins came on February 16, 1981 as Nolan Richardson led Tulsa into a matchup at #16 Wichita State for the first time. As many of the matchups between the two teams, the game was nail-bitingly close. In the second overtime, David Brown stepped to the free throw line with just one second left on the clock. He proceeded to hit two free throws to secure the road victory for TU.

#9 - GOLDEN HURRICANE DEFENDS TULSA, BEATING THE #16 SHOCKERS AT HOME FOR TU’S 26TH STRAIGHT HOME WIN

JANUARY 16, 1982

In 1982, Tulsa welcomed Wichita State to town. The Shockers were once again ranked 16th in the country headed into the matchup. This time however, Tulsa was also ranked, coming in at #18 in the polls. The crowd on hand for the matchup was the largest home crowd ever in TU history. Paul Pressey fed off of the energy that night, scoring 20 points and adding 7 assists and 7 steals to lead Tulsa. The win for Tulsa marked the team’s 26th straight home victory.

#10 - TULSA DEFEATS WICHITA STATE EN ROUTE TO MISSOURI VALLEY TITLE

MARCH 8, 1984

After beating Illinois State in the 1982 Missouri Valley Conference title game and then losing to Illinois State in the finals in 1983, Tulsa was becoming regulars in the MVC championship game. To get back to the title game in 1984, Tulsa would have to go through Wichita State.

Tulsa and Wichita State had split the season series in 1983-84. Wichita State got a two point victory in Wichita on February 2nd, winning 66-64. Then on February 18th Tulsa evened the season series with a 105-97 victory in the Convention Center.

The rubber match came in the MVC semifinals, which Tulsa got to play in the friendly confines of the Convention Center. Tulsa went on to defeat Wichita State 86-80 before beating Creighton in the finals and securing their second title in three seasons.

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