Feb. 3, 2001
NEW ORLEANS - Sophomore Brandon Spann (New Orleans, La.) scored 10 points in overtime to lead Tulane University to an 82-72 victory over the University of South Florida in Conference USA men's basketball action on Saturday evening at Fogelman Arena.
The win snaps an eight-game losing streak for Tulane (8-13, 1-7 C-USA). South Florida (14-7, 6-2) is in first place in the National Division of Conference USA.
Tulane was led by senior Ledaryl Billingsley (Chicago, Ill.), who posted his league-leading ninth double-double of the year with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Linton Johnson (Chicago, Ill.) notched his eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Spann added 18 points, while sophomore Brandon Brown (Houma, La.) had 13 points and nine boards. Freshman Wayne Tinsley (Fontana, Calif.) also cracked double digits with 10 points.
South Florida was led by Altron Jackson, the league's leading scorer, who posted a game-high 26 points.
Spann took control of the game in overtime, opening the scoring with a three-pointer from the top of the key and then following a Bull free throw with two foul shots of his own, making it 71-67 with 3:43 to go. The sophomore then intercepted a pass and drew the foul, knocking down two more free throws to push the margin to six with 3:22 remaining. While Spann was adding to his scoring, the Green Wave defense was tenacious, harassing the Bulls into 1-for-11 shooting in the overtime stanza. A USF three-pointer cut the Wave lead to five with one minute on the clock, but those would be the final points of the game for the visitors.
"Ledaryl made plays," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "Brandon Spann made plays. Even Wayne Tinsley. We wanted him to drive the middle of the floor and when you do that good things happen. We came in this week and worked hard. We were very, very physical. The guys were afraid they wouldn't have their legs for the game but we said, `Hey, we've been taking it easy and that hasn't gotten us anywhere.' I thought our conditioning was better tonight."
"You know the big thing we talked about was playing hard for 40 minutes," Finney said. "We had a chance to let it get away from us again. We got down 61-58 and they had the ball, but we came up with a big stop and came back and tied it."
Tulane shot 54.9 percent from the field in the game, while holding South Florida to 39.7 percent shooting. The Wave controlled the glass with a 43-29 advantage. Tulane committed 20 turnovers, while the Bulls had just nine.
"I can't say enough about our rebounding," Finney said. "We did a great job on the glass tonight. We limited them to 13 offensive rebounds and six or seven points off of those. That was a big difference in the game for us.
"Anytime you win, you get confidence. But we can't relax, we have to get ready to play Southern Miss. There's no time to rest on your laurels."
The Green Wave plays at the New Orleans Arena on Wednesday night, hosting Conference USA foe Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or by calling 504-961-WAVE.