Jan. 2, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - A late three-pointer by freshman Cameron Reynolds and free throws by senior Kevin Thomas and junior Jay Hook helped lift the Tulane men's basketball team to a come-from-behind, 61-58, victory over visiting Hofstra to open the New Year at Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse on Thursday afternoon.
"I told our guys that competitiveness would win this basketball game, and certainly that was not a pretty game but we just found a way," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "I believe the competitive spirit that we showed in the last few minutes of the game won it for us today."
Trailing by four, 58-54, with 1:58 left in the game, the Green Wave (8-7) mounted a comeback the was fueled by a pair of free throws from Hook after a technical foul called on Hofstra's (4-9) Stephen Nwaukoni with 1:30 remaining. Reynolds then drained a three-pointer from the left elbow that vaulted Tulane back into the lead, 59-58, with 1:18 left.
The teams then traded misses, including Dion Nesmith's lay-up with 0:10 remaining that would have given Hofstra the lead again. Thomas pulled down the rebound, his career-high eighth, and was fouled with less than a second on the clock. The Green Wave senior sunk both free throws to seal the victory.
After a slow start by both teams, Hofstra held a 9-3 lead with 13:14 left in the opening half before Tulane used a 12-0 run to climb back into the game and take a 15-9 advantage with less than 10 minutes on the clock. The Pride then used a 14-1 run to retake the lead and eventually lead, 28-25, at the break.
Hofstra led for the first 13 minutes of the second half as well that included a high of nine, 46-37, with 11:45 left, but Tulane mounted an 13-3 run capped by a lay-up by Tre Drye to take 50-49 lead with 6:58 remaining.
Hook led Tulane with 15 points and six rebounds, while Jonathan Stark had 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. Thomas finished with 10 points to go with his eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Reynolds posted a career-best nine points and Drye added eight points.
Zeke Upshaw led all scorers in the game with 31 points for the Pride.
Tulane shot 35.3 percent from the floor in the game, including 45.5 percent in the second half. The Green Wave connected on six-of-19 three-pointers and hit 19-of-28 from the free throw line.
Hofstra connected on 37.0 percent from the floor and hit six-of-21 three pointers. The Pride made 18-of-26 free throws and won the battle of the boards, 35-34.
The Green Wave opens its final season in Conference USA when Tulane travels to Tulsa and North Texas next Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Tickets for the 2013-14 Tulane men's basketball games are available for as low as $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. For additional information, contact the Tulane Team Shop ticket office in person on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information is also available over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
- Jay Hook scored in double figures in today's game with his 15 points. It is his 10th double digit scoring game of the season and the 11th of his career.
- Jonathan Stark scored in double figures in today's game with his 12 points, marking his 14th double figure scoring game of his career. The freshman guard has reached double digits in all but one game this season and has scored in double digits in 11 straight games.
- Freshman Cameron Reynolds tied his career-high with nine points in today's game.
- Kevin Thomas scored in double figures in today's game with his 10 points. It is his second double digit scoring game of the season and the third of his career.
- Thomas also pulled down a career-high eight rebounds in the game.