Tulane (4-1) vs. Centenary (2-3)
Saturday, Dec. 4, 1999, 7 p.m. (CST)
Fogelman Arena (3,600)
Game Data: Tulane (4-1) looks for its fourth straight win as the squad returns home to host Centenary (2-3) ... Tulane has won the last three games by an average of 31.7 points ... The Green Wave is 6-3 in its last nine home games ... Tulane has also scored at least 80 points in eight of its last nine wins ... In the Perry Clark era, Tulane is 42-29 (.592) in the month of December.
On the Air: The Tulane Basketball Network will broadcast every Tulane regular season game. The flagship station is 50,000 watt WWL-AM 870 in New Orleans. “Voice of the Green Wave” Ken Berthelot is in his 11th year of calling the action. Joining Berthelot on the home broadcasts will be color analyst Curtis Amann. At least six of Tulane’s regular season games will be televised this season. Three appearances are scheduled for the ESPN family, two for CSSE and one for Fox Sports South.
Tulane Head Coach Perry Clark: Perry Clark is in his 11th year as the Green Wave head coach with a record of 169-135 (.556). Clark has guided Tulane to five 20-win seasons, six postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 3 NIT) and the Metro Conference championship in 1992. He was the 1992 National Coach of the Year and a two-time Metro Conference Coach of the Year (1991, 1992). Only one other coach in school history has more wins or a longer tenure. He is assisted by Anthony Anderson, Greg Gary and Brock Kantrow. Clark is 4-0 against Centenary.
The Series: Tonight’s contest is the 13th meting of the two schools with Tulane holding a 9-3 advantage in the series, which dates back to January 1923. The Wave has won the last four meetings, including a 97-74 win on Dec. 19, 1996, in New Orleans. Tulane has a 6-2 record in series games played in New Orleans, 3-1 in Shreveport, and 0-0 in neutral-site games.
Last Time Out: Tulane rolled to its biggest road win in 53 years in defeating Virginia Commonwealth, 85-44. The Wave held the Rams to just 28 percent shooting for the game and 19 first-half points in the 41-point win. Led by Ledaryl Billingsley’s first double-double of the year (14 points/11 rebounds), Tulane placed five players in double figures and outrebounded VCU, 47-32. Linton Johnson added a career-high 10 points as the Wave won its third straight game.
Scouting Centenary: The Gents enter play with a record of 2-3 after defeating Southern, 73-69, on Wednesday. Ronnie McCollum scored 33 points, including two key treys, to key the victory. On the year, Centenary averages 67 points per game and connects on 41.3 percent of its field goal attempts. Individually, McCollum leads the team with a 25.8 ppg average, while Ed Dotson averages 15.6 points and a team-leading 8.6 rebounds per game.
Winning Margins: Tuesday’s 41-point win marked the 36th time in school history that the Wave has beaten an opponent by at least 40 points, but just the sixth time Tulane has accomplished the feat away from home. Tulane defeated Louisiana Tech by 48 points (88-40) on Dec. 27, 1974, in a neutral-site meeting. Not counting games against military bases in the 1940s, the last time Tulane won a true road game against an educational institution came on Feb. 8, 1913, in a 48-4 win over Mississippi College.
More Winning Margins: In its last three games, Tulane has outscored the opposition by a combined 95 points. The last time the Green Wave outscored three consecutive opponents by as wide a margin occurred in 1955-56, when the margin was 107. Tulane closed the 1954-55 season with an 82-53 win over Louisiana State on March 4, and then opened the 1955-56 campaign with consecutive wins over Southwestern, Tenn. (95-50) and Louisiana College (94-61) on Dec. 3 and Dec. 5.
Finding the Range: It’s not surprising that the Wave has won its last three games when you look at the team’s shooting percentage. Tulane has shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of those games and is a cumulative 101-of-188 (.537) from the floor. The last time Tulane shot 50 percent or better from the floor in three straight games came Jan. 11-18, 1997. The effort has also raised the team’s shooting percentage for the season to .502.
Two More Keys to Victory: Through five games, Tulane has also done in excellent job of controlling the boards and playing unselfishly. The Wave has outrebunded four of five opponents and posts a +7.6 rebound margin. The squad has also done a better job this season of distributing and taking care of the ball. The team has a positive assist:turnover ratio and forces 3.2 more turnovers per game.
Double-Double Debut: Junior Ledaryl Billingsley put his personal stamp on Tuesday’s win with his first double-double of the season. The 6-foot-7 forward tallied game-high totals of 14 points and 11 rebounds to boost his season averages to 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. It was the seventh double-double of Billingsley’s career.
The 80-Point Plateau: Over the past two years, no statistic is a better indicator of Tulane success than 80 points scored. When the Wave scores at least 80 points, the team is 11-0 over the past two seasons, including 4-0 in 1999-2000. On the year, Tulane is averaging 81.8 ppg, while holding the opposition to 62.2 ppg. Tulane’s +19.6 scoring margin ranks third among Conference USA teams.
Offensive Force: Sophomore Linton Johnson continues to display an improving offensive game. In Tuesday’s win, Johnson poured in a career-high 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor. On the year, the Chicago native is averaging 4.8 points (3.1 points better than last year) and shooting 66.7 percent from the field.
Tulane will next be in action on Wednesday, Dec. 8, as the team hosts Texas A&M.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CST) in the New Orleans Arena.