Sophomore Kevin Sims scored 12 points, dished out eight assists and accounted for two steals in Tulane's 73-51 win over Nicholls State.
Nov. 16, 2007
NEW ORLEANS - Junior Robinson Louisme led four Tulane players in double figure scoring with a team-best 14 points and the Green Wave won its 16th straight game against Nicholls State with a 73-51 victory in front of 1,935 at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign and the Wave extended its home win streak against non-conference opponents to eight straight. TU also improved to 20-7 at Fogelman Arena under third-year head coach Dave Dickerson.
Nicholls State (1-2) stole the show early by jumping out to a 12-point lead on two occasions during the opening 10 minutes of the first half. The Colonels drilled three treys and held Tulane to just four points during a 16-4 run. Senior Matt Wheaton hit two free throws at the 10:22 mark to give the Wave just its sixth point. NSU followed Wheaton's free throw up with a Dominic Friend lay-up that extended the lead back to 12 points. However, Friend's bucket would be the last for the Colonels for the next six minutes.
Facing its largest deficit of the young season, Tulane dug in defensively and ignited on the offensive end behind Louisme's 10 points and Wheaton's eight points. The Green Wave reeled off a 20-1 run and took the lead for good on a lay-up by freshman Kris Richard. By the time Michael Czepil nailed a short jumper to snap the run, the Colonels were trailing 26-21. TU built its lead to seven points four different times in the final 10 minutes and sophomore Kevin Sims followed a Nicholls State lay-up with 0:07 remaining by going coast-to-coast in the waning seconds and beat the buzzer with a floating jumper to give the Wave an improbable 35-28 lead at the break.
Once again Nicholls State heated up during the opening minutes of the second half and sliced the lead to just two points with a Czepil three-pointer. However, Tulane basically put the game away with a 12-1 run and led by 12 points when Mitch Boyce interrupted the run with a lay-up to pull the Colonels to within 10 points. Sophomore Eric Vianney drained two treys and Wheaton added another to give Tulane a 16-point advantage. From there, the Green Wave increased to its lead and led by as many as 25 points in the closing minutes.
Louisme nailed all six of his field goal attempts and is now a perfect 13-of-13 from the field this season. Wheaton hit 4-of-5 shots, including three treys, and tied his career-high with 13 points. Sims reached double figures for the third time in as many games with 12 points, and he dished out eight assists, while Vianney tied his single game scoring total with 10 points. Louisme and senior David Gomez each grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Wave.
One of the biggest statistics was field goal shooting. Despite its slow start in which it hit just 1-of-8 attempts in the first 10 minutes of the opening period, Tulane shot 58.3 percent in the second period and hit on 51 percent of its attempts for the game. The Wave dominated both ends of the paint with a 42-31 advantage on the boards, and outscored Nicholls State, 38-18, on the offensive end.
On the other side, Nicholls State followed up its hot start in each half with a dismal 27.6 percent for the game. Czepil tallied a game-high 16 points, while Ryan Bathie added 11 points and Boyce chipped in 10 points. Adonis Gray led the Colonels with seven rebounds.
Tulane will take a week off and return to action on Saturday, November 24 against cross-town rival New Orleans at Fogelman Arena. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.