Feb. 26, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The guard trio of Jonathan Stark, Louis Dabney and Jay Hook combined to score 56 points to help lead the Tulane men's basketball team overcome a 16-point first half deficit and go on to win, 72-64, over visiting Florida Atlantic on Wednesday night in a Conference USA matchup.
Stark scored 21, Dabney had 18 and Hook added 17 in the victory for the Green Wave (16-13, 8-6 C-USA) who secured their first .500 or better conference record since the 2006-07 team posted a 9-7 league mark.
Florida Atlantic (10-19, 5-9 C-USA) opened the game by scoring 19 of the first 23 points and built as much as a 16-point lead in the opening half. The Owls led 24-8 with 8:07 left, but Tulane was able to chip away and scored the final five points of the half to make the deficit, 31-23, at the break.
"Credit FAU," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "I've seen them do it many times this year when they just jump on you with their execution. So we had our hands full and got down big and not a lot of things were going right for us, but our team fought hard in the last 10 minutes of the first half and we felt really good at halftime. We kept it to a manageable number."
The Green Wave then scored the first five points of the second half and battled back to take the first lead of the game, 36-35, with 17:08 remaining on one of Hook's three three-pointers in the contest.
The game saw four more lead changes over the next six-plus minutes before Tulane took the lead for good with a jumper by Stark that gave the Green Wave a 46-45 advantage with 11:43 left to play.
Tulane built as much as a 12 point lead in the second half.
A big reason FAU jumped out to a quick lead was the Owls' hot shooting in the first half as they hit 13-of-22 shots (59.1 percent), while Tulane managed to connected on just seven-of-31 (22.6 percent) shots in the opening 20 minutes.
The second half was a reversal of fortune for the Green Wave as they hit 14-of-28 (50.0 percent) shots from the floor, while FAU shot 37.9 percent (11-29).
Tulane also knocked down 26-of-36 free throw attempts, including nine-of-11 by Dabney and seven-of-eight by Stark.
The Green Wave turnover FAU over 17 times on the defensive end of the floor that led to 25 second chance points and outrebounded the Owls, 44-30. Tre Drye pulled down 14 boards and nine came on the offensive end where Tulane collected 21 rebounds that were turned into 14 second chance points.
Tomas Bruha added nine rebounds for Tulane and Hook chipped in with six.
Pablo Bertone led all scorers in the game with 28 points despite not playing the five five-plus minutes of the game due to an injury. The league's leading scorer connected on 12-of-17 shots from the floor.
Tulane plays its final road game of the regular season this Sunday when they visit FIU for a 1 p.m. CT tip in Miami. The final game of the regular season is March 6 when the Green Wave host Southern Miss. The game will tip at 7 p.m. CT after senior night festivities.
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.
- Tre Drye pulled down 14 rebounds in tonight's game, marking the eighth game this season with double figures in rebounds and the 11th game of his career. He pulled down 10 of those in the first half.
- Louis Dabney scored in double figures in tonight's game with his 18 points. It is his 24th double digit scoring game of the season and the 26th of his career.
- Jonathan Stark scored in double figures in tonight's game with his 21 points, marking the freshman's 22nd double figure scoring game of the season.
- Jay Hook scored in double figures in tonight's game with his 17 points. It is his 19th double digit scoring game of the season and the 20th of his career.
- Tulane now has three players with at least 400 points this season after Jonathan Stark (418) scored his first three points tonight and Jay Hook (413) scored his first four points to join Louis Dabney (476) in that category. It marks the first time Tulane has had three players with at least 400 points in a season on the same team since the 1995-96 team had Jerald Honeycutt (576), Rayshard Allen (403) and LeVeldro Simmons (402).
- Tulane's win marked the eighth conference victory securing the first .500 or better record in league play since the 2006-07 team went 9-7.