Nov. 6, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - Sophomore Kris Richard scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half and the Green Wave used a 19-5 run in the final period to fend off nearby neighbor Loyola, 74-61, in exhibition play at Fogelman Arena.
It was a tale of two halves for the Green Wave in their first and only exhibition contest of the year, while Tulane marked the third preseason game of 2008-09 for Loyola. After shooting 35.7 percent from the field and scoring 25 points in the first half, the Green Wave exploded for 49 points in the final period, erasing a four-point halftime deficit to cruise to the 13-point victory.
"I'm proud of my team," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "We were down by 12 points in the first half and we came back and won by 13 points. This is a relatively new group of guys. We don't have David Gomez, Matt Wheaton or Donnie Stith any longer. Kris (Richard) is a second year guy, who had 18 points, and I thought Robbie (Louisme) played well and he had 17 points. I'm proud of our effort as a team. Most importantly, we came back and didn't get down and had the toughness and basketball savvy to win the game. My hat's off to Loyola. Those guys played great. They were prepared for the game and Mike (Giorlando) did a good job of getting his guys to play hard."
The opening minutes of the second half turned into an offensive clinic with each team trading baskets. TU managed to tie the game briefly, taking a one-point lead on a lay-up by freshman Kendall Timmons, but Loyola maintained a narrow, 45-44, advantage with less than 12 minutes remaining in the contest.
Trailing by four points at the 10:16 minute mark, junior Asim McQueen was fouled by the Wolfpack's Matt McCabe on a drive to the basket. McQueen calmly sank both free throw attempts to bring TU to within a point. Following a Loyola turnover, McQueen struck again with a jumper to tie the contest at 48-all.
Loyola's Corey Gray regained the lead for the visitors when he drained a three-pointer to quiet the home crowd, but Tulane answered behind a trey of its own from junior Kevin Sims. Less than 16 seconds later, Sims fed Richard on a fast break lay-up that not only gave the Wave the lead for good, but sparked a 19-5 run that proved too much for the Wolfpack to overcome. TU sprinted out to a 14 point lead with 2:28 left in the game, and held Loyola scoreless for nearly two minutes.
Richard, who was one of four TU players to each double digit scoring, finished 7-of-14 from the field, 4-of-5 from the foul line and added five assists in 24 minutes. Junior Robinson Louisme tallied 17 points and seven rebounds, while Sims notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists and nabbed three steals. Sophomore Johnny Mayhane finished with 10 points.
The Wave won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Loyola, 39-35, and shot 45.9 percent for the game while holding the Wolfpack to 39.3 percent after they shot 44 percent during the first 20 minutes. Tulane also outscored the Pack in the Paint, 38-18.
Gray led Loyola with 19 points, while Torry Beaulieu added 15 points.
Tulane led during the opening minutes of the opening period by as many as six points on two occasions. Playing in his first game as a Green Wave, sophomore-transfer David Booker rebounded a missed jumper by Sims and gave Tulane a six point lead for the second time in the period, 13-7, with 10:25 remaining.
However, the Wave's lead was brief as Loyola's Sean Bennett ignited a 22-4 run with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession. By the time Louisme hit one of two free throw attempts with 3:35 remaining in the first half, the visiting Wolfpack led 29-18.
Tulane regrouped and mounted a comeback in the final minutes and held Loyola scoreless for the final 2:57. Puckett fired up the crowd with a dunk on a put-back and Mayhane drained a three-pointer to pull the Wave to within six points with less than two minutes remaining. Following back-to-back three-point field goal missed by both teams, McQueen drove the lane with the clock winding down in the first half and his shot at the buzzer rolled around the rim before falling and Tulane trailed 29-25 at intermission.