Strong Second Half Leads Men's Basketball over UTPA



Dec. 19, 2012

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NEW ORLEANS - It was a solid second half performance and a strong showing by the bench that helped lead the Tulane men's basketball team to a 76-49 victory over visiting UTPA on Wednesday night in the second game of the Tulane Classic at Devlin Fieldhouse.

The Green Wave (8-3) shot 66.7 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes and scored 46 points, while 11 players came off the bench to add 25 points to the victory, Tulane's eighth straight at home.

"I was really pleased," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "Our guys worked so hard the last 10 days and it doesn't always show up right away, but I thought the second half was indicative what we worked on and what we developed."

UTPA (4-8) hit just 33.3 percent from of its second-half shots and posted 25 points in the final period.

Junior forward Josh Davis led the Green Wave with 23 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore guard Ricky Tarrant had 14 points and five boards. Freshman guard Louis Dabney led the bench players with a career-best nine points to go with three rebounds and a pair of assists. Senior guard Ben Cherry also added seven points off the bench.

"The bench played and played well," Conroy added. "Tonight we were able to get a cushion because of our starters and the bench guys came in a really drove it home."

Neither team was able to establish more than an eight point lead in the first half, a half that saw three ties and two lead changes, but Tulane took the lead for good with a Tarrant lay-up with 9:33 remaining before the break that gave the Green Wave a 15-13 advantage. Tulane held a 30-24 lead at halftime.

UTPA got within four a few times early in the second half, including 36-32, with 14:32 remaining, but Tulane rattled off a 14-0 run over the next four-plus minutes to take control of the game and own a 50-32 lead. Davis scored nine of the 14 points during the run that was eventually snapped by a 3-pointer from Aaron Urbanus with 9:40 on the clock. The Green Wave then scored the next six points to take a 20-point lead.

Overall, the Green Wave hit 28 of 56 shots from the floor for 50.0 percent, hit five of 16 3-pointers and knocked down 15 of 21 free throws. Tulane also dished out a season-high 15 assists and pulled down 42 rebounds, including 15 offensively that led to 16 second chance points.

The Broncs hit 38.3 percent from the floor in the game, but did hit seven of 18 from 3-point range. UTPA only managed to hit six of 10 free throws and pulled down just 21 rebounds in the loss.

Urbanus and Brandon Provost each scored 10 points to lead UTPA in the scoring column.

The Green Wave will face Pepperdine in the final game of the Tulane Classic on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT in Devlin Fieldhouse. That game will follow UTPA vs. Alabama State at 4 p.m. CT. The Waves of Pepperdine defeated ASU, 66-58, on Wednesday in game one of the Tulane Classic.

- Sophomore forward Tre Drye started for the first time this season and the first time since the final game of last season against UAB in the Conference USA Tournament.
- Sophomore guard Ricky Tarrant reached double figures in tonight's game with his 14. He now has scored in double figures in nine games this season and 33 games in his career.
- Junior forward Josh Davis reached double figures in tonight's game with his 23. He now has scored in double figures in all 11 games this season and in 30 games in his career. Davis' 20-plus point game was the sixth of his career and the third of this season.
- Senior forward Kendall Timmons moved up two spots to 25th place on Tulane's career scoring list with his five points tonight. He passed former teammate Kris Richard (1,103 points) and Jack Ardon (1,106 points) and finished the game with 1,107 career points.
- All 16 roster members played in the game for the first time this season.