Senior Robinson Louisme scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and came up with three blocked shots in TU's 76-70 loss to UAB on Wednesday night.
Feb. 18, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane junior Kevin Sims led all scorers with 20 points, while senior Robinson Louisme notched a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, but the Green Wave scored just three field goals in the final nine minutes and allowed UAB to post a 76-70 come-from-behind victory in the final minutes at Fogelman Arena.
On a night where Mardi Gras was in full swing in New Orleans with the Ancient Druids parade rolling down Magazine Street and onto St. Charles Avenue, Tulane (10-15, 4-8 C-USA) led the Blazers (18-8, 8-3 C-USA) for much of the game and the upset-minded Green Wave looked to be in good position to knock off the league's second place team. But Louisme's three-point play with nine minutes remaining in the game proved to be the turning point. Although his play gave Tulane a 60-58 advantage, his field goal proved to be the final one for the next five minutes.
With Tulane mired in a shooting drought, UAB took advantage by outscoring the Wave 18-12 during the final minutes. The Blazers did most of their damage from the free-throw line during the deciding run by hitting 12-of-14 attempts. TU's next field goal came at the 4:19 mark when junior Asim McQueen hit a jumper in the lane that tied the game for the 10th time at 66-all.
But back-to-back baskets by UAB's Lawrence Kinnard and Channing Toney on consecutive possessions and TU's inability to knock down a jumper proved to be the difference between the two teams down the stretch. Trailing by four points, Sims misfired on a three-pointer, but TU came up with two steals that looked to give the Green Wave a chance. However, junior Eric Vianney turned the ball over with an errant pass on the first steal and Lousime missed a short chip shot on the second steal, and TU was forced to foul with under a minute remaining. UAB made the most of its opportunities from the charity stripe and never let Tulane get any close than five points.
The Blazers not only held the Wave to three total field goals for the final nine minutes, but out-rebounded Tulane in the second half, 20-8, and converted 20-of-27 free throw attempts in the final 20 minutes.
"This is a very disappointing loss for our team and coaching staff," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "We fought hard. We played hard and we played the right way, but UAB made the plays in the second half. They got the key rebounds and loose balls and took the game from us. They are a very talented team and their starting five players are as good as anyone in the conference. But, this is a game we let get away from us."
It was bittersweet night for Sims, who scored 20 points and became the 30th player in school history to surpass the 1,000 career points, but is just the first junior to accomplish the feat since LeVeldro Simmons in 1994-95. Sims also dished out six assists to move into ninth place on Tulane's career assists list with 320. Sophomore Kris Richard was the third Green Wave player to finish in double figures with 11 points and he swiped three steals.
Robert Vaden led the Blazers with 17 points, while Kinnard and Paul Delaney III each finished with 15 points, and Toney chipped in 14 points. Kinnard also tied Louisme for game high rebounding honors with 12.
Tulane rode the backs of Richard, Louisme and Sims in the first half. The trio combined for 25 of TU's 40 first half points and 12 of the Wave's 22 boards in the opening period. Tulane fired the first salvo with a lay-up by Sims, but UAB took the lead on a jumper by Vaden at the 18:16 mark and held the advantage for the majority of the first 10 minutes in the opening half. The Green Wave took a brief lead on a jumper by sophomore Johnny Mayhane, and the two teams then traded the lead four times before Mayhane once again buried a jumper to regain a 20-19 lead for the home team.
The action continued to be fast paced with the two teams trading baskets on four straight possessions. Sophomore David Booker followed a missed jumper from Mayhane with a tip-in to give the Wave a 24-21 lead, but Channing Toney nailed a short shot and Delaney hit 1-of-2 free throw attempts to tie the game at 24 apiece.
The Green Wave then went to work when UAB began ringing up fouls. A Louisme jumper sparked an 11-0 run with the bulk of the spurt coming from freshman reserve Trent Rogers, who came off the bench and scored five points. Following one of four Blazer fouls during the run, Louisme knocked down a pair of charity shots and handed Tulane a 35-24 lead with 3:13 remaining before the half.
But UAB stormed back behind a Vaden three-pointer and an 8-2 run that brought the visitors to within five points with one minute left on the period. Sims knocked down his second three-pointer of the half with 22-seconds remaining, but UAB's Camerson Moore's rebounded a miss shot and stuck it back with a second remaining for a 40-34 Green Wave lead at the break.