Jan 5, 2002
ROSEMONT, Ill. - Waitari Marsh scored 12 of Tulane's final 14 points, all from the free throw line to lead the Green Wave to a 73-63 victory over DePaul University in the Conference USA men's basketball opener for both teams at Allstate Arena.
An 11-2 run by DePaul (7-5, 0-1 C-USA) had cut the Green Wave lead to 50-48 with 7:34 to go. However, Tulane (9-3, 1-0) turned to a stifling defense to force the Blue Demons into eight misses in the next five and a half minutes.
Meanwhile, the Wave offense created 12 unanswered points. Linton Johnson tossed a runner off the glass to kick-off the run. That was followed by a Marsh spin move in the lane and a Nick Sinville jumper off the backboard. The highlight of the run came with 4:26 to go when Brandon Spann tossed a long alley-oop pass to Sinville for a ferocious slam dunk to make it 58-48.
After a Brandon Brown free throw made it 59-48, Marsh went to work from the line, scoring 12 points in the final 2:25 from the charity stripe.
"The guys did a good job of regrouping after our loss at Kentucky," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "We told them to come out and play defense as hard as you can for 40 minutes and everything else will take care of itself."
Marsh led the Wave with 21 points, including 13-of-15 shooting from the line. Sinville notched his third double-double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Brandon Brown added 13 points.
"It is always big to start off the conference with a win," said Chicago native Marsh. "Especially on the road."
It is Tulane's first time opening the league schedule with a victory since the 1996-97 season, when it topped UAB, 86-61, also on the road.
It was the seventh time that Tulane has shot 50 percent form the field this season, while DePauls' field-goal percentage was a season-low for a Wave foe. It was the lowest since Centenary shot 28.8 percent on Dec. 5 on last season.
The Wave held a 33-26 lead at the break. An Imari Sawyer free throw for DePaul made it 35-31 2:27 into the second stanza, but Marsh scored on a layup and Wayne Tinsley connected on a baseline three-pointer to make it 40-31 with 16:29 remaining. The Demons cut it to seven, but Byron Parker scored on the break and Marsh knocked down a leaner to make it 48-37.
However, DePaul pulled together, taking advantage of four turnovers and a missed shot by the Green Wave to build an 8-0 run, cutting the margin to two at 50-48.
"They made a couple of runs at us, but we responded well," Finney said.
Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Houston at 7 p.m. at Fogelman Arena. Tickets are available by visiting the Tulane Box Office at the Wilson Center or by calling 504-861-WAVE.