Tulane Men Host Southastern La. Tonight

Tulane University will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Fogelman Arena on Saturday as the Green Wave men's and women's basketball teams host a doubleheader against a pair of in-state foes. The women tip-off the event, battling Nicholls State at 5 p.m., while the men's team hosts Southeastern Louisiana at 7:30 p.m.

Tulane University will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Fogelman Arena on Saturday as the Green Wave men's and women's basketball teams host a doubleheader against a pair of in-state foes. The women tip-off the event, battling Nicholls State at 5 p.m., while the men's team hosts Southeastern Louisiana at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the game are available by calling 504-861-WAVE or by visiting the Tulane Box Office located at the Wilson Center. The men's game will be broadcast on the stations of the Tulane-ISP Sports Radio Network, including WTIX-AM 690 in the New Orleans area; while the Wave's women's game will be aired on WRBH 88.3 FM.

Fogelman's 70th birthday will be recognized with a lobby slide show and historical announcements throughout the game. Renowned saxophonist Doug Thompson will play at the game. Fogelman Arena was dedicated on Oct. 27,1933, as Tulane Gymnasium, however, the first game was played in the arena on Dec. 15, 1933, as the Green Wave defeated Southwestern Louisiana, 38-34.

For the Tulane men, Saturday night will be their first game following a nine-day layoff for final exams.

"We are ready to get back out there and play a game," men's coach Shawn Finney said. "We have used the time to work on a lot of things, such as improving our half-court defense and fine-tuning our offense. With a young team, we are looking to develop players; with any team, you are always looking for improvement. Even at Kentucky when we won the National Championship, we were still working on improving every day."

Finney served as an assistant coach at Kentucky for three years, helping the Wildcats to the 1998 national title.

Tulane enters the game with a 5-1 record. In \the Wave's last outing, it held off a scrappy Northwestern State squad, 83-66, on Dec. 10. The Green Wave is being led in scoring by junior sharp-shooter Ben Benfield, a local product from John Curtis High School. The 6-3 Benfield is averaging 13.5 points per game with a team-best 14 three-pointers.

"Ben has always been able to shoot the ball," Finney said. "But now he is doing the little things as well. He is rebounding, defending and making good decisions."

Sophomore big man Quincy Davis has used his long frame to average 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this year, while his classmate, Vytas Tatarunas has 12.0 points and a team-high 9.8 rebounds per game. Tatarunas, the strongest player on the team, also has a team-best three double-doubles this year.

Southeastern comes into Saturday's game with a 5-2 record, with both of its losses coming on the road to SEC schools. The Lions lost to Alabama, 83-76, and to Ole Miss, 52-48.

"Southeastern is going to be a tough opponent for us," Finney said. "They are playing very well and they are a very experienced team. We need to shake off any rust from the exam break before we take the court for this game."

Southeastern has seven juniors and seniors on its roster.

Following Saturday's game, Tulane will go on the road for the first time this year, playing in Baton Rouge against another state-rival, LSU, on Tuesday, Dec. 23rd at 7 p.m.


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