Rochestie's 3 Lifts Wave To OT Win Over UAB

Freshman Taylor Rochestie did not register career-highs in any categories, but he registered a career night for Tulane University as the rookie hit two huge shots to lift the Green Wave to a 76-73 overtime victory over UAB on Wednesday evening at Fogelman Arena.

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Freshman Taylor Rochestie did not register career-highs in any categories, but he registered a career night for Tulane University as the rookie hit two huge shots to lift the Green Wave to a 76-73 overtime victory over UAB on Wednesday evening at Fogelman Arena.

With the score knotted at 73, UAB turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation with 6.7 seconds remaining. Tulane (7-9, 1-4 C-USA) found Rochestie on the in-bounds pass.

"We wanted to get it in to one of our good ball-handlers, Marcus [Kinzer] or Taylor, and let them get their own shot, or if the defense comes and helps, dish it off," Tulane coach Shawn Finney said. "Taylor looked right at me as we broke the huddle and said, ‘Coach, I'm going to get the ball.' He wanted to take the shot; and you have to have a guy step up and make a play and that's what he did."

The freshman drove the length of the court and double-pumped from the right-side of the three-point arc, releasing his shot just over the defense for a perfect swish as the buzzer sounded.

"The coaches wanted me to spot up for Marcus and Ben [Benfield] in the corners; they are both great shooters, so the defense could not help off them; then I just needed to make something happen," Rochestie said. "As long as he didn't block it, it was all on me; you can't hesitate, you just have to do it. Anybody on the team could have made that shot."

UAB (13-5, 3-2 C-USA) had taken a 68-65 lead with 52 seconds left in regulation on a three-pointer from Donell Taylor, but again it was Rochestie performing the heroics. As the shot clock ticked down, the California product stepped back and nailed a 23-footer from the left side to knot the game with 29 seconds remaining.

UAB's attempt at the game-winner at the end of the regulation was off the mark as the Green Wave headed to its first overtime game since the 2002-03 season. It was Tulane's first overtime game in Fogelman Arena since Feb. 2, 2002, a 66-61 victory over Southern Miss. The Green Wave has not lost an overtime game at Fogelman Arena since the 1997-98 season.

"It's a confidence booster because it was a total team effort," Finney said. "Taylor made the big shot, but we had everybody contributing and playing at the highest level."

The Wave fell behind 71-68 early in the overtime stanza, but a Quincy Davis free throw with 3:25 to go made it 71-69. After a Blazer miss, Kinzer set up Rochestie for a 17-foot jumper to even the game at 71 with 2:24 on the clock.

"The best part was [in overtime] when we were down three, we didn't panic," Finney said. "We showed poise and played within ourselves."

UAB turned it over on its next possession, but Tulane missed a pair of attempts and the Blazers' Demario Eddins (18 points) scored inside with 57.2 clicks remaining. However, Wave senior Ben Benfield answered with a hard drive into the lane, laying it off the glass from the right side to tie the game at 73 with 43.3 to go.

UAB worked the clock down, but had to settle for Squeeky Johnson forcing up a three-point airball. The rebound was battled for by Eddins and Tulane's Vytas Tatarunas until the shot clock expired, returning the ball to the Green Wave and setting up Rochestie.

Rochestie scored just 14 points in the victory, but eight of those came in the final 30 seconds of regulation and in the overtime period. Davis led the Wave with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while freshman David Gomez registered his first career double-double with a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds. Benfield finished with a season-best 14 points.

"Quincy was getting the ball closer to the hoop than he has been; even though he only took eight shots, he got fouled on a couple of other plays; that was big," Finney said.

Tulane buried 54.5 percent (30-of-55) of its shots while holding the Blazers to just 37.3 percent (25-of-67) shooting. The teams were even in rebounds at 40 apiece, while the Wave committed 25 turnovers against UAB's tenacious full-court pressing defense. The Blazers had 17 turnovers.

Tulane returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss., to face Southern Miss in a 4 p.m. contest. The game will be televised live throughout Louisiana on Cox Sports TV (Channel 37 in New Orleans).


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