Nov. 25, 2001
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane men's basketball team departs on its first road trip Monday morning, heading to Richmond, Va., for a meeting with Virginia Commonwealth at the ALLTEL Pavilion on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. (Central Time).
Tulane has won its first three games of the year for the second season in a row under head coach Shawn Finney. The Wave has opened 3-0 just seven times since 1963. If Tulane can manage a win over VCU (3-1) on Tuesday, it would mark just the third time since 1961 that Tulane owned a 4-0 mark.
The Wave improved to 3-0 on Saturday with an impressive 89-67 victory over Norfolk State. Brandon Spann led three players in double figures with a season-high 22 points, including four three-pointers. Nick Sinville added 19 points and Waitari Marsh scored 18.
Tulan trailed by as many as eight early in the game as the Wave could not get its shots to fall, however, a tenacious press kept them in the game. After missing its first eight shots, Tulane recovered to knock down 51.4 percent of its remaining shots in the win.
"We're coming off a good win against Norfolk State," Finney said. "The guys really rallied, we did not come out and play well offensively for the first five or six minutes of the game, but we stayed composed and stuck with the defense and we knew the shots were going to fall. We got much more aggressive in the press and it was a key to the game."
VCU enters Tuesday with a 3-1 record and wins over Prairie View, East Tennessee State and Rutgers. The Rams' lone loss was to Northwestern. Guard Willie Taylor, who began his career at Georgetown, leads the way with 20.3 points per game. Antoine Willie is next with 16.0 points per game, while big man L.F. Likcholitov has 8.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
"We're looking forward to playing VCU on Tuesday," Finney said. "It will be our first road test against the most talented team that we have seen to date. They are a guard oriented team which will make them hard to press, especially on their home court, but I think we are up to the challenge."
Following Tuesday's game, the Wave will return to New Orleans for three days before heading to Gainesville, Fla., to battle the No. 6 Florida Gators on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 12 noon.