Jan. 19, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane sophomore Ricky Tarrant and junior Josh Davis combined for four three throws in the final 0:39 and the Green Wave held off Tulsa for its first Conference USA victory of the year in a 75-72 thriller in front of 2,147 at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Tulane improves to 13-5 overall and 1-2 in C-USA play but more importantly snaps a two game skid, while Tulsa drops to 11-8 and 3-2 in league play this season. The win for the Green Wave was its first over the Golden Hurricane since Jan. 21, 2009, when Tulane outlasted Tulsa at home, 76-75, in overtime.
Davis was a force to be reckoned with on each end of the floor and flirted with a triple double, finishing with 19 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and dishing out a game-best eight assists in 36 minutes, while Tarrant was steady as usual with 21 points behind four three-pointers and a 7-of-8 effort from the three-throw line.
"This was a great team win and it was tremendous to have so many players step in big situations," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "We've been in several close games and today we finally got over the hump. The one aspect we worked on hard all week from start to finish was sharing the basketball and I thought we really shared it well today.
"We didn't work as much on our pressure and our end of the game situations as we normally do because we worked so hard on sharing the basketball this week but I feel like we had it covered. We had our seniors out there. We had Ricky out there. We executed well down the stretch but I was disappointed on how we handled the ball a few of those times during the final minutes."
Tulane controlled the game from the outset and by as many as 13 points in the first half when Davis hit a lay-up at the 4:42 mark to give the home team a 29-16 advantage. However, Tulsa responded with a run of its own. Behind James Woodard, who tied Davis for game-high scoring honors with 21 points as well, the Golden Hurricane whittled the lead down to six points on several occasions in the final minutes. Woodard led the charge with seven points, including a jumper as the first period expired to pull the visitors to within six once again, 36-30, at intermission.
Tulsa opened the second half on a roll and battled back to tie the game at 39 apiece on a Woodard jumper. The Hurricane continued to make the most of its opportunities and managed to build a six-point, 47-41 lead with 12:11 remaining in the contest.
But the Green Wave was up to the challenge and rolled up its collective sleeves. Senior Jordan Callahan knocked down a three-pointer and Davis responded with five straight points, including a free throw to convert a three-point play that tied the game at 49-49 near the midway point of the second half. The teams then traded the lead for the next six minutes before a Tarrant trey at the 4:24 mark gave Tulane the lead for good.
Although the Wave led by as many as six points in the final minutes, Tulsa continued to fight back but the combination of Davis and Tarrant was too much for the Hurricane as the Tulane duo combined for seven points down the stretch.
Along with Davis and Tarrant, senior Kendall Timmons added 12 points to give the Wave three players in double figures. Tulsa outshot the Wave, 47.4 percent to 42.9 percent, but Tulane drained 23-of-29 free throw attempts to just a 12-of-18 effort by the visitors and the Green Wave nailed 10 three-pointers to just six for Tulsa.
For Tulsa, Pat Swilling, Jr., finished with 13 points, Shaquille Harrison added 11 points and Scottie Haralson chipped in 10 points and the trio joined Woodard to give the Hurricane four players in double figures.
Tulane returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 22 on the road at Memphis with a 7 p.m. tip on Comcast Sports South. The game will also mark the debut of the Green Wave on its new flagship radio station, WMTI FM 106.1 `The Ticket.'