Feb. 14, 2001
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Senior Ledaryl Billingsley (Chicago, Ill.) scored a career-high 38 points but it was not enough for Tulane University as Charlotte pulled away in overtime for a 98-93 victory in Conference USA men's basketball action on Wednesday evening at the New Orleans Arena.
Tulane (9-15, 2-9 C-USA) trailed 82-78 in the final seconds of the game, but sophomore Brandon Spann (New Orleans, La.) drove down the lane for a layup to cut it to two with two seconds remaining. Then sophomore Brandon Brown (Houma, La.)made a tremendous play, stealing the in-bounds pass and dropping in a layup with three-tenths of a second remaining to knot the game at 82.
However, after Brown scored in the paint to open the overtime period, Charlotte (14-9, 6-5) rattled off the next 11 points to put the game away.
"It's a disappointing loss," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "The thing we've been talking about is playing to the end and tonight with eight seconds left, that's what we did. We drove the ball the length of the floor and scored, and got the steal then the layup. We talked about being fatigued and fighting through it and we did that pretty well. It was a great effort by our guys."
Billingsley's 38 points is tied for the ninth most in school history. The last player to score more than 38 was Phil Hicks, who notched 41 points on Feb. 7, 1974. The senior big man had just five points at the half, but tallied 28 points in the second half and another five in overtime. He also added a season-high 18 rebounds for his league-leading 10th double-double of the year.
"He hurt us more than any other post player this year," Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz said. "He overpowered us. He's first team all-league on my ballot, that's for sure."
In addition to Billingsley's effort, Spann scored 17 points and Brown added 15 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the year. Freshman Wayne Tinsley (Fontana, Calif.) added 11 points and six rebounds.
Charlotte was led by a career-high 30 points from Rodney White, the leading freshman scorer in the nation. Jobey Thomas added 27 points.
The Green Wave plays its final New Orleans Arena game of the season Saturday night, hosting Conference USA foe DePaul at 7 p.m. The Wave closes its 2000-2001 home slate next Wednesday, hosting Houston at 7 p.m. at Fogelman Arena. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or by calling 504-961-WAVE.