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One day after the program he used to head announced self-imposed penalties from NCAA rules violations that occurred under his watch, Frank Haith coached his current team to a big win in the American Conference.
Tulsa trailed Connecticut for most of the night Thursday but overtook the Huskies with less than five minutes remaining and held on to win 60-51, giving Haith three consecutive conference wins to think about while others around college basketball consider his record of leaving programs holding a bag of trouble he handed them on his way out the door.
Haith left Missouri two years ago to take a lower-profile job at Tulsa and just four after Missouri and the NCAA began an investigations into major violations that occurred during Haith's tenure, including players receiving impermissible benefits from boosters.
On Wednesday, Missouri self-imposed scholarship restrictions and a postseason ban this year in an effort to get out in front of any punishment that might come from the NCAA. Meanwhile, Haith was not charged with any violations. He received a vote of confidence from Tulsa athletic director Derrick Gragg on Wednesday and had little to say about the Missouri case in a statement he issued.
When asked again about the Missouri case following Thursday's game, Haith chose not to address it.
Thrilled with his team's impressive win vs. UConn, Frank Haith had no further comment on the Missouri situation, stands by his statement.
— Kelly Hines (@KellyHinesTW) January 15, 2016
Tulsa began conference play with losses to SMU and Cincinnati but has rebounded with wins over East Carolina, Tulane and UConn, with the victory over the Huskies giving Golden Hurricane fans reason to believe their team can be competitive in the AAC this season.
Neither team shot the ball well Thursday but Tulsa got to the free throw line twice as often, outrebounded the Huskies and committed just eight turnovers to earn its best victory since upsetting Wichita state back in November. UConn, which shot 30 percent as a team, made just two field goals in the final eight minutes.
Tulsa senior Rashad Ray came off the bench to score eight points and provide the pass on a sweet ally oop reverse jam for Shaquille Harrison. Ray then celebrated the victory in style by playing the drums with the band afterward while still in uniform.
— American MBB (@American_MBB) January 15, 2016
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