Last Second Owl Basket Dooms Wave, 60-57

The Green Wave had a chance to send the game into overtime as Tulane players tipped the ball near half court on the ensuing inbound play, but Almond was able to gain control and shoot the ball to give Rice the victory. The shot was controversial both as to it's timing - it appeared to come with 00:00 remaining on the clock, but before the horn sounded, and why it was scored as a three, as Almond appeared to be inside the 3-point arc when he released the ball

NEW ORLEANS, La.–Rice guard Morris Almond had a game-high 33 points but none were better than his 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Tulane University men's basketball team dropped a 60-57 decision to the Owls in Conference USA action Saturday evening at Fogelman Arena.

Tulane (4-10, 0-2) trailed 57-52 with 1:31 left to play in regulation, but a fall-away hook by Quincy Davis in the final minute and a 3-pointer by David Gomez with 1.9 seconds remaining tied the game at 57-all. The Green Wave had a chance to send the game into overtime as a pair of Tulane players tipped the ball near half court on the ensuing inbound play, but Almond was able to gain control and send the ball through the net as the final buzzer sounded to give Rice (8-7, 2-0) the victory.

"It's a tough way to lose a game," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "I'm excited the way we played the last five minutes of the game. Give credit to Rice. They have a veteran coach and one really, really good basketball player. (Almond) is a great player. It's satisfying to know it took a great player to beat us.

"We gave our all. That last shot beat us, but we couldn't stop one person. He's one of the better players in the conference and in the country, and he made us pay tonight. We gave our all, but it wasn't our night."

Gomez led the Green Wave with 17 points while junior guard Chris Moore was next with 11. Senior post player Quincy Davis led Tulane with nine rebounds and scored 10 points on 4-5 shooting from the field and a 2-of-3 performance from the free throw line.

The game was knotted at 30-all at halftime, but Rice took the early lead in the second half with a 5-0 run to take a 35-30 advantage. Tulane trailed by as many as six on two occasions, the last coming with 2:09 to play when J.R. Harrison sank a jumper to give Rice a 56-50 lead.

A layup by Gomez made it a four-point game, but a free throw by Almond made it 57-52 to set up the last-minute theatrics.

"It didn't go as well as we would have liked," Gomez said. "Down the stretch we made the plays to put ourselves in position to win, but Rice made the same plays and came out on top."

Morris was the lone Rice player to tally a double-digit scoring total, while Harrison and Patrick Britton added eight points each. Morris led all players with 10 rebounds, and Britton pulled down nine of his own.

Tulane shot 42.0 percent from the field on Saturday (21-of-50), including a 47.8 clip in the second half on 11-of-23 shooting. The Green Wave outscored the Owls 30-28 in the paint and held an 8-6 advantage in points off turnovers. A main reason for the latter statistic was the play of junior point guard Andrew Garcia, who came off the bench to tally three steals, six assists and six points in 24 minutes off the bench.

"Even though we're 4-10, I think we're getting better," Dickerson said. "The guys are working hard. We had some key turnovers and we took some open shots, but we couldn't make them. We've got to be able to knock those shots down."

A season-high 1,966 were on hand for Saturday night's game, including a large student section that made it difficult for Rice to hear throughout most of the game.

"I'm proud of our students and all of the fans who came out tonight," Dickerson added. "It was a nice home-court advantage, and we need this atmosphere for us to be successful."

The Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when they play host to C-USA foe UTEP at 7 p.m. in Fogelman Arena. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Ticket Office at 504-247-1240. The Ticket Office is currently located in the lobby of Fogelman Arena, and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can also purchase on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.

-www.tulanegreenwave.com—


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