Jan. 27, 2010
EL PASO, Texas - A strong second half showing by the Tulane men's basketball team was not enough Wednesday night in an 84-71 loss against UTEP in the Don Haskins Center.
The Green Wave (6-13, 1-5 C-USA) outscored the Miners (14-5, 5-1 C-USA) 48-47 in the second half and shot 51.4 percent from the floor, but it was the final eight minutes of the first half that proved to be the difference in the game.
Tulane trailed 20-19 with 7:54 remaining in the first half before UTEP scored 17 of the last 21 points of the half to hold a 37-23 lead at the break.
A pivotal point during UTEP's run came with the Green Wave trailing 30-21 with 4:07 left in the half. Freshman forward Terrance Beasley committed a flagrant foul on the Miners Randy Culpepper that also resulted in a technical foul on both Beasley and Culpepper. The junior guard for UTEP hit both free throws that started a 7-2 run to finish the half.
"That play in the first half really turned the tide of the game," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "It put us in a hole because it took away our momentum and when you lose your momentum in a hostile environment like this is tough."
The Green Wave never led in the game after UTEP jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Tulane did even the score three times in the first half, including 8-8 after a Kendall Timmons lay-up, 11-11 after a 3-pointer from Eric Vianney and 13-13 after a lay-up by Asim McQueen.
UTEP's built as much as a 22 point lead in the second half, 64-42, with 8:53 remaining, but Tulane fought hard and cut the lead down to 12, 81-69, with 1:19 left.
"One of the best things tonight with his team is that we never quit," Dickerson said. "That's the one thing that we talk about every day especially when we are going through a rough situation like we are going through with the team where it is just really tough to win a game. We have to play perfect to win a game and we have not done that to this point."
Timmons finished the game with 14 points and six rebounds, while Kris Richard led the Wave with 18 points, including 14 in the second half. McQueen ended with 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds that helped the Green Wave win the battle on the boards. Tulane outrebounded UTEP, 39-34, led by McQueen's eight and David Booker's seven. 15 of those Green Wave rebounds came on the offensive end of the floor and resulted in 15 second chance points.
UTEP shot 53.7 percent from the floor in the game, including 58.6 percent in the second half. The Miners also knocked down 21 of 29 from the free throw line, while Tulane, who did not attempt a free throw in the first half, hit 10 of 16.
Tulane finished the game shooting 42.6 percent, including 51.4 percent in the final 20 minutes.
Jeremy Williams and Christian Polk led UTEP with 21 points each, while Culpepper finished with 14 and Claude Britten added 12. Julyan Stone tallied a game-high 14 rebounds and nine assists on the night for the Miners.
Tulane returns to New Orleans to host Southern Miss at Fogelman Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m. CST.
- Kendall Timmons scored in double figures for the fourth time this season and the sixth game of his career with his 14 points today.
- Kris Richard scored in double figures for the 14th time this season and the 32nd game of his career with his 18 points today.
- Asim McQueen scored in double figures for the fifth time this season and the 18th game of his career with his 10 points today.