ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Tulane's comeback magic did not happen on Wednesday evening as the Green Wave scored a season-low 41 points and suffered a 57-41 defeat against Saint Louis in both teams' Conference USA opener at the Savvis Center.
Tulane (6-6, 0-1 C-USA) trailed by nine at the break but pulled within four before Saint Louis (3-10, 1-0) settled down and put the game away with a tough defensive performance.
"We could never get going," Tulane coach Shawn Finney said. "It looked like we were in quicksand all night. We played hesitant, couldn't get in any rhythm or flow."
Trailing 36-27 with 16 minutes to go, Tulane's Marcus Kinzer scored on a scoop shot in the lane then Chris Moore found Kory Castine on a fast break for a lay-in to make it 36-31 with 14:07 on the clock. SLU's Reggie Bryant nailed a jumper, but the Wave came back with a three-pointer from the corner by freshman Matt Wheaton to make it 38-34 with 12:52 remaining.
However, the Green Wave missed back-to-back three-pointers, then had five consecutive turnovers as the Billikens scored 12 unanswered points over a 5:43 stretch.
"We got it to 34-38, then took two bad threes and had five turnovers in a row," Finney said. "That was the ball game. We saw it slipping and called timeout, but we couldn't get going; we kept passing up open shots for tough shots."
Quincy Davis was the only player in double figures for Tulane with 10 points, all in the first half. Taylor Rochestie added nine points.
A Castine putback and a pull-up jumper from Rochestie made it 50-38 with 5:46 to go, but the Green Wave offense still could not get on track, scoring just once more in the game.
Tulane has trailed in 11 of its 12 games, but has rallied to win five times, including erasing a 19-point deficit on New Year's Eve against VMI. However, the Saint Louis defense and slow-down offense made any comeback efforts near impossible.
The Wave turned the ball over 19 times in the game, leading to 18 Billiken points. Saint Louis had 14 turnovers, but the Wave converted those for just six points. Tulane also shot just 34.8 percent (16-of-46) from the field while Saint Louis hit 42.9 percent (21-of-49) of its shots. The Billikens also had a 33-29 advantage on the boards.
Saint Louis was led by Izik Ohanon, who scored 16 points with nine rebounds. Bryant tallied 12 points and seven rebounds.
"Ohanon is a mobile four-man with 15 to 16-foot range and he can put it on the floor," Finney said. "I was very worried about that match up."
The Green Wave will play its C-USA home opener on Saturday evening at Fogelman Arena hosting Marquette at 7 p.m. For ticket information, call 504-861-WAVE.
Magic Fades For Wave In 57-41 Loss To Billikens
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