Jan 23, 2002
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane University shot just 39 percent from the free-throw line and South Florida held off the Green Wave for a 68-54 victory in Conference USA men's basketball action on Wednesday evening at Fogelman Arena.
"Not to take anything away from South Florida," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "But anytime you are 9-of-23 from the free-throw line, it is a sign of a lack of focus."
Brandon Brown (Houma, La.) led Tulane (11-6, 3-3 Conference USA) with 12 points and 12 rebounds, his second consecutive double-double. However, his point total was over four below his average and he had just four points and three rebounds at the break. Brandon Spann (New Orleans, La.) scored 16 points.
"South Florida did an excellent job on Brandon," Finney said. "In the first half, he only got two shots. We couldn't get him going offensively."
The Green Wave trailed 50-38 after South Florida's B.B. Waldon scored inside with 15:31 to go. However, Tulane held South Florida (13-5, 4-2 C-USA) to just one field goal over the next 9:51. Unfortunately, in that time, the Wave managed only three field goals in the same time frame. Brown had the first hoop in the stretch, a monster rebound-dunk, and Spann followed with back-to-back three-pointers and the Wave was within five at 51-46 with 11:09 to go.
That was as close as Tulane could get to the Bulls, however. Mike Bernard hit a 17-footer from straightaway and Altron Jackson knocked down a pair of free throws and then dunked on a nifty baseline move to lift the margin back to 11 at 57-46.
Brown scored on a hook shot and then hit two-of-four foul shots, but Bernard had one free throw and a hook shot of his own following a Reggie Kohn drive to the hoop, making it 62-50 with 1:52 to go.
Two more baskets the rest of the way by the Wave were countered by four free throws by the Bulls, who connected on just 4-of-9 foul shots in the final 1:39.
"They really came in and took it at us," Finney said. "We talked about it in the pregame, that coming out and taking it to them would be important. They got the first seven of their 11 points out of transition. We had to fight back and play from being down the whole game."
The Bulls built the lead to as many as 15 at 31-16, but a 13-3 Green Wave run was keyed by five points from Linton Johnson (Chicago, Ill.).
Jackson led South Florida with 17 points and seven rebounds, while B.B. Waldon added 15 points and six boards. Greg Brittain and Bernard also hit double figures with 11 and 10, respectively, while Kohn dished out a game-high nine assists.
The Green Wave travels to Birmingham this weekend, facing C-USA rival UAB on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tulane is back home on Tuesday evening (Jan. 29), hosting Marquette at 7 p.m.
Tickets for all Tulane home events are available by calling 504-861-WAVE, or by visiting the Green Wave box office at the Wilson Center.