NEW ORLEANS, La.– Behind D'Aundra Henry's 13 first-half points, the Tulane women's basketball team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as the Green Wave rolled to it first Conference USA victory of the season, 74-54, over Marquette on Sunday afternoon at Fogelman Arena, snapping a six-game losing skid.
Head coach Lisa Stockton mixed up the Tulane starting lineup, and the Wave came out of the gates firing, hitting 46.9 percent (15-of-32) of its shots in the opening stanza. Tulane used a three-pointer by Jami Montagnino and two treys by Henry to build an 11-0 lead as the Green Wave defense kept Marquette at bay until Svetlana Kovalenko hit a lay-up at the 15:45 mark.
Senior forward Lakethia Hampton came off of the Tulane bench to tally eight points in a span of four minutes as the Wave led by as many as 21 during the opening period. Marquette's leading scorer, Christina Quaye, collected her first two points of the afternoon on a bucket with 22 seconds left before halftime, cutting the Tulane lead to 19, 39-20.
Marquette would get no closer than 19 the rest of the game as Henry and the hot-shooting Wave picked up right where they left off during the second half.
After a Marquette miscue 30 seconds into the half, Courtney Simmons drove the court and kicked the ball out to Henry, who drained her fourth three-pointer of the day to put Tulane ahead by 22. The Wave extended their lead to 25 with 6:24 remaining when Kinya Lennix converted the and-one shot after being fouled on a short jumper.
"I think a lot of credit goes to the staring lineup (Tymeka Moore, Alendra Brown, Jami Montagnino, D'Aundra Henry and Courtney Simmons) for really wanting to win," Stockton said. "There's nothing I can say about one particular person. This was a total team win."
Henry scored a game-high 22 points on a career-high four three-pointers while hitting nine of her 13 shots from the floor. Sophomore guard Montagnino scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game as she matched her career-high point total with 14, while Hampton added 10 for Tulane. Senior forward Tymeka Moore, who celebrated her birthday on Sunday afternoon, corralled nine rebounds for the Wave.
"They got some offensive rebounds at the end, but I think overall we did a good job rebounding," Stockton said. "We shot the ball well (48.2 percent) because we took some high percentage shots."
The Green Wave defense forced 20 Golden Eagle turnovers, and held Quaye, who averages 15.4 points a contest, to 11 on the afternoon. Danielle Kamm was Marquette's leading scorer with 12, followed by Quaye with 11. The Golden Eagles, who entered the game hitting 44.2 percent of their shots, were limited to 20-of-55 (36.4 percent) from the field against the Wave.
"Our defense really helped out today," Stockton added. "Our zone defense didn't give her (Quaye) a lot of opportunities. We had to change it a little bit, it's hard to guard her one-on-one."
The 20-point win is the largest margin of victory for the Green Wave this season. With the win, Tulane moves to 9-10 on the season and 1-5 in C-USA while Marquette falls to 12-6, 3-2 in the league.
With a block by freshman Dominique Philpots at the 5:04 mark of the first half, the 2004-05 Tulane squad moved into No. 10 on the all-time list for blocks by a team in a season with 57.
Tulane travels to Charlotte on Friday for a 6 p.m. (CST) game, and continues to East Carolina next Sunday. Catch both games live on the flagship radio station of Tulane women's basketball, WRBH 88.3 fm.
Tulane Women's Hoops Rolls Marquette, 74-54
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