Jan. 25, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - A 33-point performance from freshman Ricky Tarrant and 63-second half points from the team guided Tulane men's basketball to an, 80-74, come-from-behind victory over SMU Wednesday night in Fogelman Arena.
Tarrant's performance marked the most points a freshman had scored in a game for the Green Wave, breaking the record of 32 held by Anthony Reed.
The Green Wave (14-6, 2-4 C-USA) trailed SMU (10-10, 2-4 C-USA), 25-17, at the half after shooting just 25.9 percent (7-27) in the opening 20 minutes. The Mustangs then scored four of the first six points of the second half and held a 28-19 lead less than two minutes in before Tulane mounted the comeback.
In the final 18:37 of the game, since SMU's nine-point lead, Tulane proceeded to outscore the Mustangs, 61-46. The Green Wave knocked down 18 of 28 shots in the second half, including nine of 14 from 3-point range. Tarrant had 26 of his 33 points in the last 20 minutes and hit all four of his 3-pointers.
"There is a lot of credit to go around in that locker room," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "We are inexperienced. We have a long way to go and SMU chopped us up at times on the offensive end, but the bottom line is that we have some really competitive guys in that locker room and they just rose up and knew what we needed to get done. They stepped up with big shots and they did it together."
Tulane finished the game shooting 45.5 percent from the floor, including hitting 10 of 29 3-pointers. The Green Wave also knocked down 20 of 32 free throws, including 18 of 26 in the second half.
It was the defense, despite allowing SMU to shot 57.1 percent from the floor that guided the comeback as well. Tulane posted nine steals and forced 16 turnovers that led to 25 points. The Green Wave 17 points off turnovers in the second half alone.
SMU led the entire first half after jumping out to a 4-0 lead. The Green Wave tied the score, 9-9, with 13:03 left in the half, but never took the lead.
Tulane didn't take its first lead until Tarrant hit a free throw with 12:30 remaining to make the score, 44-43. SMU's Cannen Cunningham put the Mustangs back up with a dunk seconds later, but Tarrant nailed a 3-pointer with 11:29 left to put the Green Wave up for good. Tulane's largest lead of 11 game twice, including 62-51 after another 3-pointer from Tarrant with 6:38 remaining.
Tarrant finished the game with five 3-pointers after hitting just one of seven attempts in the first half. The freshman also knocked down 10 of 12 free throws, grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and had three steals.
Robert Nyakundi led SMU with 26 points before fouling out. He hit 10 of 14 shots, including four 3-pointers. London Giles added 16 points, while Jeremiah Samarrippas posted a double double with 12 points and 11 assists.
Tulane will take its two-game winning streak on the road Saturday when the Green Wave visit Rice for a rematch of the earlier 50-49 loss to the Owls in Fogelman Arena. Game-time is 7 p.m. CT from Tudor Fieldhouse.
- Tulane's 63 points scored in the second half of the game was more than the final score of nine games this season for the Green Wave.
- Ricky Tarrant's 33-point performance is broke the freshman single-game scoring record at Tulane held by Anthony Reed (32 vs. Tennessee Tech on Dec. 8, 1989) and the 33 is the most scored since Kendall Timmons posted 33 against Lamar in Fogelman Arena on Dec. 30, 2010.
- Freshman Tre Drye made his first career start tonight. He is the fourth freshman to start a game for the Green Wave this season.
- Josh Davis scored in double figures for the 14th game this season with his 14 points tonight.
- Freshman Ricky Tarrant scored in double figures for the 15th game this season with his 33 points tonight. His career-high 33 points mark his fourth 20-plus point game of the season and his second in a row.
- Jordan Callahan reached double figures in scoring for the 13th game this season and the 43rd game of his career with his 16 points tonight.
- Callahan's second 3-pointer of the night a bank-shot with the shot clock winding down, moved him into a tie for eighth on Tulane's career made 3-pointers list.