Feb. 9, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - For the second straight game Jay Hook proved to be the hero and on Sunday the junior's three-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining broke a 65-65 tie and lifted the Tulane men's basketball team to a 68-65 win over visiting Marshall in the Conference USA game at Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse.
Hook drained the shot from about 24 feet away from the basket at the top of the key after receiving the pass from Louis Dabney.
"I had all the faith in the world in both Lou and Jay," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "I wanted the ball in Lou's hands to make the decision to try and score it or make the read and get it to Jay."
"Coach called the play and the decision for Lou was if my guy helped then pass it and if he didn't help then to do your thing," Hook said. "Lou made the right decision and I just made the shot. It feels great."
Tulane (13-11, 5-4 C-USA) never trailed in the game, but Marshall (8-17, 2-8 C-USA) was able to tie the score twice late, including 63-63 with 1:16 remaining after a lay-up by Cheikh Sane. Green Wave guard Jonathan Stark broke that first tie with a lay-up of his own with 0:41 left before Chris Thomas of the Thundering Herd knocked down a pair of free throws with 0:28 on the clock to knot the second again.
Following Tulane's final timeout of the game, the Green Wave inbounded the ball with just inside 27 seconds remaining and were playing for the last shot. The shot was Hook's third three-pointer of the game. He finished with 11 points.
"First of all Credit Marshall," Conroy said. "I've been on the other end of some of those games. They just had a really tough road trip where they lost two games on last second shots. They played extremely well and played their hearts out. But, I've very proud of my guys. The way we came out and started the game set a great tone."
Tulane opened the game by scoring the first five points and then built a 19-6 lead in the first eight-plus minutes by hitting five-of-seven three-point attempts, including three by freshman Payton Henson. Henson finished the game with a career-high 14 points.
The Green Wave hung on to hold a 33-29 lead the half after Marshall closed out the opening half by scoring 10 of the last 14 points.
The Thundering Herd cut the deficit down to three, 37-34, minutes into the second half, but Tulane used a 14-2 run and built a 15-point lead, the largest of the game. The run was sparked by a three-pointer by Hook, a pair of lay-ups by freshman Ryan Smith and a tip-in by Henson.
Tulane's lead hovered around double digits until Marshall went on an 11-2 run that made the score, 61-60, with 2:45 remaining. Stark led the way in scoring for Tulane with 17 points and he dished out six assists. Dabney matched Henson's point total with 14, while Hook added his 11.
Chris Thomas led Marshall with 21 points, while Kareem Candy had 16.
Tulane finished the game with a 45.8 field goal percentage that included hitting eight-of-16 three-pointers. Marshall shot 44.4 percent from the floor and knocked down five-of-13 threes. The Green Wave edged the Thundering herd on the boards, 33-28, and were led by Tre Drye and Smith with five each.
The win for Tulane moved the Green Wave into a tie for sixth-place in the conference standings - three games out of first-place - with seven regular season contests left. The Green Wave hits the road this coming week to face Middle Tennessee State on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT and UAB on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT.
- Payton Henson scored a career-high 14 points in today's game with a career-best three three-pointers. His point total also marks his first career double figure game.
- Louis Dabney scored in double figures in today's game with his 14 points. It is his 20th double digit scoring game of the season and the 22nd of his career.
- Jonathan Stark scored in double figures in today's game with his 17 points, marking the freshman's 20th double figure scoring game of the season.
- Jay Hook scored in double figures in today's game with his 11 points. It is his 16th double digit scoring game of the season and the 17th of his career.
- The win evened the series with Marshall at 8-8 in the final meeting between the two in Conference USA.