Nov. 28, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - Junior Asim McQueen scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, but the UC Davis Aggies shot nearly 62 percent from the field in the second half and used a 16-5 run near the midway point of the second period to hand Tulane a 76-62 setback in the first game of the 2008 USA Basketball Classic at the Mitchell Center.
Tulane (3-2) saw its two-game win streak and will now play in the consolation game on Saturday at 5 p.m. against Maine.
The Green Wave took an early four-point lead to begin the second half on a three-pointer from junior Kevin Sims and a lay-up by senior Robinson Louisme. However, the Aggies (2-4), who run a Princeton-style offense, nailed three treys and stormed back to build a six-point advantage at the 15:29 mark.
McQueen reeled off four points and Louisme contributed a lay-up to tie the contest at 43-all and again at 45 apiece on a McQueen lay-up. Tulane took its last lead of the game on a Sims three-pointer at 10:32. UC Davis responded with its deciding run when Joe Harden was fouled on a made lay-up and his ensuing free throw to convert the conventional three-point play gave the Aggies the lead for good. Harden then broke free for a fast break lay-up to give his team a four point cushion.
Sophomore David Booker hit a short jumper to pull the Wave to within two points, but that was the closest Tulane would get to the Aggies for the remainder of the game. UC Davis scored seven straight points and led by 11 points before Tulane hit its next basket.
The Aggies led by double figures for most of the final five minutes of the contest and built its largest lead of 14 points on several occasions. Despite its best effort, the Green Wave could not overcome its shooting woes from both the field (.393) and the free-throw line (.500) in the second half, while UC Davis hit 16-of-26 field goal attempts and 12-of-13 free throws in the final period.
"This is a very disappointing loss," Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson said. "We didn't come out with the same intensity in the second half as we did in the first half. Our defense was nonexistent in the second half. They shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, which is the best any team has shot against Tulane since I became the head coach. We were outplayed in the second half. There's no way around it. We couldn't make any shots or make any free throws, and when you can do that against that type offense that puts you in a tough situation.
"We didn't get any scoring from our perimeter players tonight. Kevin (Sims), Kris (Richard), Daniel (Puckett), Eric (Vianney) and Johnny (Mayhane) didn't do a good job of scoring the basketball, but I thought Asim McQueen did well and if he continues to play that well this year, we'll have a chance to win some games."
Along with McQueen, Louisme was the only other Green Wave to finish in double figures with 13 points and added seven boards. Tulane shot 38.2 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from the foul line for the game, but did out-rebound the Aggies, 35-34.
Harden tied McQueen for game high scoring honors with 20 points and also added a game-best nine rebounds, while Dominic Calegari chipped in 18 points, including four treys. UC Davis finished the contest 49.1 percent from the field, including 40.9 percent from behind the arc and knocked down 88.2 percent of its free throw attempts.
Tulane got off to a very slow start in the first half, falling behind by as many as 11 points to the Aggies. UC Davis took advantage of the Green Wave's cold streak from the floor by jumping out to a 10-point, 14-4, lead on a jumper by Joe Harden, who scored 10 of his team's first 17 points.
Junior Eric Vianney came off the bench to give TU a spark and keep his team within striking distance with a pair of three-pointers and a lay-up, scoring eight of the Wave's first 12 points. Tulane trailed 14-4 when Vianney nailed his first trey and 17-7 when he drove in for a finger-roll lay-up. UD Davis' Vince Oliver canned a three-pointer to give the Aggies its largest lead of 20-9 with 7:57 remaining in the first period.
However, the Green Wave finally woke up and Vianney's second three sparked a 13-2 run and freshman Trent Rogers came into the game when Sims received his second foul and promptly nailed a three-pointer from the left side to tie the game at 22 apiece at the 2:35 mark.
The teams traded baskets over the next minute before Louisme rebounded a missed three-pointer from Kris Richard and stuck it back in for the Green Wave's first lead of the game at 28-26. Senior Daniel Puckett was fouled following a missed Aggie trey and sank one of two attempts, and Tulane ended the half with a 29-26 advantage at intermission after outscoring UC Davis 20-9 during the final 7:57.