Strong Second Half Lifts Men's Basketball Over UTSA

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM <b>Junior Jay Hook sank six three-points in the win over UTSA</b>
Junior Jay Hook sank six three-points in the win over UTSA

Feb. 22, 2014

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NEW ORLEANS - A solid second half on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court led the Tulane men's basketball team to a, 68-56, victory over visiting UTSA on Saturday night in a Conference USA contest.

The Green Wave (15-13, 7-6 C-USA) moved into a tie for sixth-place in the conference standings with three games remaining and earned the most league wins for the program since the 2008-09 team went 7-9.

UTSA (8-18, 4-9 C-USA) held a 27-26 lead at the half after the lead changed hands 11 times in the first 20 minutes and a poor shooting performance by Tulane, but the Green Wave bounced back in the second half to outscored the Roadrunners, 42-29, thanks to hot shooting and good defense.

Tulane made just eight-of-23 shots from the floor in the first half, but five of those came from three-point range to keep the Green Wave in the game. UTSA connected on 44.0 percent from the floor in the first half and hit five-of-10 threes.

"We played a very good solid second half and we bounced back," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "It was a hard half to play, you're fatigued after playing two games in three days and came off a tough loss and things were out of rhythm the first half. I'm very pleased with the effort and execution in the second half."

The second half was a reversal of fortune. The Green Wave knocked down 12-of-21 shots (57.1 percent) and was five-of-10 from three-point land. The Roadrunners managed just six-of-25 shots (24.0 percent) and made just two-of-10 from three.

Jay Hook led Tulane with a game-high 25 points and hit six three-pointers. Hook scored 11 of the first 12 points of the game for the Green Wave. Louis Dabney added 11 points and three three-pointers of his own. As a team, Tulane has four different players hit three-pointers with Jonathan Stark and Max Keenan and also connecting on key second-half shots.

Keenan's only points of the game expanded Tulane's lead to 40-34 with 12:22 left in the contest, while Stark hit his to put the Green Wave up 10, 48-38, with 8:46 remaining.

Tulane took the lead for good when Stark hit a jumper with 18:40 left to give the Green Wave a 30-29 advantage. Stark finished with seven points and a game-high six of Tulane's 15 assists.

A free throw from Tre Drye with 3:07 left gave Tulane a double digit lead for good. Drye ended with eight points.

Drye also dominated the boards in the win and pulled down a career-high tying 15, all on the defensive end, to help Tulane outrebounded the Roadrunners, 42-25.

Tomas Bruha added eight points in his second straight start.

Hyjii Thomas led UTSA with 16 points off the bench, while Keon Lewis had 12.

Tulane will finish up the three-game homestand on Wednesday when FAU visits New Orleans for an 8 p.m. CT tip as part of a double header with the Green Wave women's team.

Tickets for the 2013-14 Tulane men's basketball games are available for as low as $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. For additional information, contact the Tulane Team Shop ticket office in person on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information is also available over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.

- Jay Hook scored in double figures in tonight's game with his 25 points. It is his 18th double digit scoring game of the season and the 19th of his career. Hook scored 11 of the first 12 points scored by the Green Wave in the game.
- Hook's 25 points mark the fifth 20-plus point game of his career.
- Tre Drye pulled down 15 rebounds in tonight's game, marking the seventh game this season with double figures in rebounds and the 10th game of his career. His 15 boards ties his career-high.
- Louis Dabney scored in double figures in tonight's game with his 11 points. It is his 23rd double digit scoring game of the season and the 25th of his career.
- Tomas Bruha scored a season-high eight points in tonight's game.
- Tulane earned its seventh conference victory of the season tonight, the most in s season since the 2008-09 team also won seven.