Jan. 7, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - After trailing by double figures early in the second half, the Talane men's basketball team fought their way back to force Southern Miss into overtime, only to fall short, 71-66, in the Conference USA home opener on Saturday afternoon in Fogelman Arena.
The Green Wave (12-4, 0-2 C-USA) trailed 38-26 a minute into the second half and 52-41 with 10:38 remaining, but chipped away to eventually tie the game 60-60 on a tip-in by Tre Drye with 1:01 left. Neither team scored in the final minute of play to send the game into overtime.
Southern Miss (14-2, 2-0 C-USA) outscored Tulane, 11-6, in the overtime period to secure the victory.
"I'm very proud of those guys in that locker room," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "They showed a lot of heart, a lot of effort and a lot of grit. Our guys responded and that is a sign of their growing mental toughness."
Tulane played all but 18 minutes of the game without junior guard Kendall Timmons who left the game late in the first half with a right ankle injury. He will be re-evaluated early in the week. Timmons, the Green Wave's leading scorer this season, posted 13 points before the injury.
Jordan Callahan, who posted a game-high 17 points and scored five of Tulane's final seven points in regulation, fouled out less than a minute into overtime.
Tulane's defense held the Golden Eagles to just three field goals in the final 10:38 of regulation and held them to 36.8 percent shooting for the game, including just 30.4 percent in the second half. The Green Wave shot 42.6 percent from the floor in the game, including 50.0 percent in both the second half and overtime.
Tulane also connected on six of 15 3-pointers with two from Callahan and two from Trent Rogers, whose second long range shot cut the deficit to 57-54 with 4:21 left in the second. Rogers finished the with eight points off the bench
Ricky Tarrant added 16 points and five rebounds for Tulane, while Drye had six points and six rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench as well.
Neil Watson led USM with 16 points off the bench, while Maurice Bolden had 15 and Torye Pelham added 11. LaShay Page was held scoreless, but led the Golden Eagles with eight rebounds and Jonathan Mills grabbed seven boards. The team rebounding totals were tied at 35-35, but USM turned 14 offensive rebounds into 14 second chance points.
"There is no question our guys fought the whole way," Conroy added. "It has been tough rebounding against these guys for a decade and we ended up even on the boards and we ended up at the free throw line 27 times. There are a lot of positives going forward with this team."
Josh Davis led the Green Wave with eight rebounds.
Tulane will host Rice at 7 p.m. CT next Saturday.
- This was Tulane's first OT game since a 79-75 loss to Marshall in Fogelman Arena on Feb. 19, 2011. This is also the sixth straight season Tulane has played an OT game in C-USA.
- Kendall Timmons scored in double figures for the 12th game this season and the 54th game of his career with his 13 points today.
- Timmons suffered a right ankle injury late in the first half and did not return to the game.
- Jordan Callahan scored in double figures for the 10th game this season and the 40th game of his career with his 17 points today.
- Callahan moved into a tie for ninth-place on Tulane's career 3-pointers made list with his two today. The junior now has 111 career 3-pointers made and is tied with Kim Lewis.
- Ricky Tarrant recorded his 11th double figure scoring game of this season with his 16 points today.