Jan. 15, 2001
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane University men's basketball team will play its final non-league game of the season on Wednesday, traveling to Starkville, Miss., to meet the Bulldogs from Mississippi State. Game time is 7 p.m. (CST).
The game will be available live on WSMD (1350 AM). The broadcast is also available on the internet by visiting the official Tulane web page at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
Tulane (7-8) has dropped its last three games, all Conference USA matches, including a heart-breaking 87-84 overtime decision to Louisville last Wednesday evening.
"We're in a tough stretch after losing three games in a row," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "We need to regroup. We're traveling to Mississippi State to play a tough SEC opponent on Wednesday, but it is a good break from league play. We have to get re-focused, we have to take care of the basketball and do the little things which will help us get over the hump."
Senior captain Ledaryl Billingsley (Chicago, Ill.) is averaging 17.3 points per game, but over the last three games, he has posted 20.7 points, including the first three three-pointers of his career. He also averages 9.9 rebounds per game, which is second in Conference USA. Over the past two outings, junior Linton Johnson (Chicago, Ill.) has also put up huge numbers. He has averaged 20.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 5.0 assists, and 2.0 steals in those games last week. His 16 rebounds against South Florida are his career-best and gave him his fifth double-double of the year.
"Our guys are playing extremely hard and aggressive and believing in what we are doing," Finney said. "We are really coming together as a team. Guys are really stepping up. Linton Johnson has had two back-to-back big games and Ledaryl Billingsley is starting to shoot the ball well, while making his free throws and rebounding the ball, and Brandon Spann is giving us the leadership we need out of him."
Spann leads the team with 17.9 points per game and is also among the best in the league in assists (5.6, second), free-throw percentage (.850, third), and three-pointers per game (2.2, fourth).
Following Wednesday's Mississippi State game, the Green Wave returns to conference play, hosting UAB on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Fogelman Arena. It will be the first rematch of the year for Tulane. Next up is Coach Finney's first meeting with John Calipari's Memphis club on Jan. 24. For ticket information, call Ticketmaster or the Tulane box office at 504-961-WAVE.