Junior guard Brandon Spann had 10 points and a game-high seven assists to help lead Tulane past cross-town rival UNO.
Dec. 5, 2001
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Junior forward Nick Sinville had 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Tulane University men's basketball team defeated cross-town rival UNO, 74-63, Wednesday evening at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane fell behind early and battled back to take a one-point lead at the break. But in the second half, the Green Wave went to a zone defense which changed the tempo of the contest. After allowing UNO to connect on 55.6 percent of their shots in the first half, the Green Wave defense held UNO to 14-of-34 shooting in the second stanza and forced 21 turnovers in the contest.
"Our guys hung in there," Finney said. "That's a sign that our team is getting better. When you come out and don't play well, but you come back and get the win, that's a good sign. Give UNO credit. They kept fighting and were very aggressive. We couldn't contain their big guys inside.
"We have to out-work them. That's one of our mottos. In the first half, we didn't do that. In the second half, we came out, we were more aggressive and the zone (defense) made them get stagnant. We couldn't contain them inside. That's why we went to the zone, and it's been good to us this year. We thought we could neutralize their inside game by going inside ourselves."
Sinville connected on eight-of-14 shots for the game, and scored 12 of his game-high point total in the second half to help the Green Wave improve to 5-1 on the year. The Green Wave held the Privateers (3-6) to a 41.2 shooting percentage in the second half and forced 13 turnovers in the final 20 minutes en route to the win.
"Our post players were good tonight," head coach Shawn Finney said. "Our game plan was to come in and attack inside. We were effective in there and our post players are starting to get a good feel for each other."
Sinville led four Green Wave players with double-digit scoring totals as Brandon Brown tallied 16, Wayne Tinsley had 14 and Brandon Spann finished with 10. Tulane, which shot 54.4 percent from the field for the game, hit at a 56.7 clip in the second half on 17-of-30 shooting.
Spann led all players with seven assists, and freshman point guard Marcus Kinzer had seven in relief of starter Waitari Marsh who was forced to the bench early with foul trouble. Kinzer also added a game-high five steals, five points and four rebounds.
"I can't say enough about Marcus Kinzer," Finney said. "You wonder how freshmen will handle success. After a solid game against Florida, he showed signs he was going to step it up and play. He's a point guards' point guard. He gives us what we need out there. He had a great line tonight, and we could be happy if he does that every night."
UNO came out of the gate red-hot, hitting seven of its first nine shots to take a 17-13 lead less than eight minutes into the stanza. Tulane cut the lead to one on a 3-pointer by Tinsley, and took its first lead of the game on the following possession when Brown hit a layup to give the Green Wave an 18-17 advantage. The lead would swell to as many as six at 27-21 with 7:22 left to play in the half, but UNO would fight back to tie the score at 29-all less than three minutes later.
The Privateers pushed their lead to four with a 33-29 advantage with 2:35 to play in the stanza, but Tulane would hold UNO scoreless the rest of the half. The Green Wave went on a 5-0 rally with a jumper by Sinville with 1:25 to play and a 3-pointer by Spann with less than five seconds to go to take a 34-33 lead into the locker room at the break.
Tulane turned up its defensive intensity in the early goings of the second half and turned four UNO turnovers into a 12-6 rally to open the stanza to take a 46-35 lead. The Privateers battled back with a 10-4 run to cut the lead to one a 50-49 with 11:47 to play, but Tulane responded with an old-fashioned 3-point play by Brown to retake a four-point lead.
UNO would once cut the lead to a bucket on a layup by Victor Brown, but the Green Wave once again had an answer. This time, it was a 10-0 rally over two and a half minutes to give Tulane a 63-51 lead with 7:19 left to go. The lead swelled to as many as 14 with Tulane holding a 68-54 with 5:30 left in regulation.
The Privateers cut the lead to nine with the 1:14 left to go, but that was as close as the Green Wave would allow as Tulane went on earn the 11-point victory.
Brown, Hector Romero and Kyle Buggs shared team-high scoring honors for UNO with 14 each, and Nerius Lisauskas had 10. Romero led the Privateers with 11 rebounds.
The Green Wave returns to action on Monday, Dec. 10 when Tulane plays host to SEC foe Vanderbilt at the New Orleans Arena at 7 p.m.