Rochestie Leads Wave To 71-59 Win Over Alabama St.

After another lackluster first-half performance, Tulane University exploded behind a career-high 19 points from freshman Taylor Rochestie in a 71-59 victory over Alabama State in the consolation round of the State Farm Sun Bowl Tournament on Tuesday evening at the Don Haskins Center. Rochestie was named to the all-tournament team

EL PASO, Texas – After another lackluster first-half performance, Tulane University exploded behind a career-high 19 points from freshman Taylor Rochestie in a 71-59 victory over Alabama State in the consolation round of the State Farm Sun Bowl Tournament on Tuesday evening at the Don Haskins Center. Rochestie was named to the all-tournament team.

Tulane (5-5) trailed by as many as eight in the first half, but the Green Wave blitzed Alabama State (2-7) to open the second half. Rochestie scored 13 points on pull-up jumpers, three-pointers, driving scoop shots and free throws to ignite a 28-6 run over the first 12:34 of the second half to cripple the Hornets.

"Taylor played a great game," Tulane coach Shawn Finney said. "He was our catalyst and made great decisions with the ball."

While that run put the Wave on top, 56-40, Tulane was not done. The Hornets' George Savage scored on a hard drive to the hoop to briefly slow the Wave, but a Quincy Davis jumper in the lane and a fast break dunk by Vytas Tatarunas sparked a 9-2 run which made it 65-44 with 4:59 to go.

For the fourth straight game, Tulane struggled in the first half, connecting on just 25.9 percent (7-of-27) of its shots. The Wave turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and Alabama State's Kevin Spicer scored 15 first-half points to lead his team to a 34-28 lead at the break.

"In the second half, we worked on valuing the basketball more," Finney said. "And on defense, Coach Reynolds suggested we use a designated trapper on Spicer. That was usually Taylor and it definitely altered the game."

Spicer scored just one point in the second half, on a free throw three seconds into the stanza. In addition, the Wave had just three turnovers in the second half while hitting 14-of-28 shots from the field.

The Wave had four players in double figures led by Rochestie's 19 points. Freshman Donnie Stith registered his first career double-double with career-highs of 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Marcus Kinzer added 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Davis had 10.

"Donnie played his best game for us," Finney said. "He did everything we knew he could do, rebounding, defending and scoring inside and out."

The Green Wave returns home for a New Year's Eve contest, hosting Virginia Military at 2 p.m. For ticket information, call 504-861-WAVE.


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