NEW ORLEANS, La.–Junior guard Jami Montagnino scored a team-high 20 points and the Green Wave posted a 36-25 advantage in the second half, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team dropped a 70-63 nailbiter to Conference USA foe Tulsa Sunday afternoon at Fogelman Arena.
Down by as many as 20 in the second half, Tulane cut the lead to 12 on
several occasions and got within five at 68-63 with 38 seconds to go.
Time would run out before the Green Wave could complete the comeback,
and Tulsa held on to win by seven. With the loss, Tulane falls to 6-5
the year and 1-2 in C-USA play. Tulsa, meanwhile, improves to 11-3
overall and 2-1 in league action.
"I have to remind myself sometimes how young we are," Tulane head coach
Lisa Stockton said of her team, which features just one junior, four
sophomores and four true freshmen. "Coming off the loss on Friday
to SMU), we were just pressing too much in the first half and that
caused us to have a lot of turnovers. Also, (Tulsa) came out very hot
and they were on a roll.
"In the second half, we were a different team. We outscored them – even
though our shooting percentage was worse – and it was because of our
defense. But I think today's game could help us in the long run."
The Golden Hurricanes shot 50 percent from the field (16-of-32) in the
first half, but the Tulane defense limited Tulsa to a 29.2 mark after
halftime (7-of-24). A big reason for that was the play of rookie point
guard Ashley Langford, who had four steals after the break.
"Ashley was huge in the (second half) charge," Stockton. "She was
playing great pressure defense and really picked up the tempo."
Langford fell one assist shy of her second career double-double with 15
points and nine dimes to go along with a pair of rebounds. Sophomore
shooting guard Nikki Luckhurst had 11 points, and sophomore forward
Jennifer Sands had eight points and 11 rebounds.
Tulsa led by as many as 20 in the first half, and took a 45-27 lead
the locker room at halftime. Tulane cut the lead to 12 less than two
a half minutes in the second stanza, but could not get any closer over
the next 11 minutes as the Golden Hurricane answered each Green Wave
rally with a scoring streak of their own.
Tulane finally got the game to within single digits with 5:24 to play
when Montagnino hit her fifth and final 3-pointer of the game to make
63-56. The lead went back to 10 on two different occasions, but a pair
of free throws and a layup by Sands made it a six point game at 68-62
with 51 seconds to go.
Following a missed basket and a foul by Tulsa, freshman post Kendra
Barnes cut the lead to five with a free throw, but that was as close as
Tulane would get as Megan Moody sank a pair of shots from the charity
stripe to account for the final score.
Moody and Jillian Robbins tied for the Tulsa scoring lead with 15
each, while EmilyJaskowiak was next with 13. Robbins, the nation's
leading rebounder entering the weekend, led all players with 16 caroms.
Tandem Mays, meanwhile, had seven of Tulsa's 17 assists.
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, Jan. 13 when they kick off a
three-game road swing in Orlando where Tulane will battle C-USA
UCF at 6 p.m. (CST). From there, Tulane will travel to Southern Miss on
Jan. 15 before taking its final diversion from league play with a Jan.
21 contest at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La.
Wave Comeback Falls Short, Tulsa Wins 70-63
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