Feb. 10, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - Redshirt-sophomore forward Whitney Bibbins cames off the bench to score 22 points and sophomore forward Tiffany Dale pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and led all players with five blocked shots, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team dropped a 67-65 decision to Conference USA foe Tulsa on Sunday afternoon at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
Both teams pulled down 36 rebounds, but the Golden Hurricane out-boarded the Green Wave 22-19 in the second half and turned 12 offensive rebounds into nine second-chance points over the final 20 minutes of play to come away with the victory. In defeat, Tulane saw its winning streak halted at three while falling to 17-5 on the year and 6-3 in C-USA play. The loss also snapped a 9-0 streak in non-home games, falling one victory shy of the school record of 10 set by the 1996-97 team. Tulsa, meanwhile, improves to 9-13 overall and 4-5 in league play.
"I thought the rebounding is what killed us, really," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "Offensively, we started off slow and then we ended up shooting 44 percent. I just don't think we played with the same effort. I told the team, I thought our intensity level wasn't great. We had missed assignments and things like that.
"What hurt us was the rebounds. They got offensive rebounds for a segment there where we had a seven-point lead and then they dominated the boards. Tiffany Dale was really the only one for us getting rebounds in there. That's the story of this game. We came back and got it close, got a shot there at the end that could have tied it, but it shouldn't have come down to that."
As a team, Tulane connected on 43.9 percent of its field goals (25-of-57) and held Tulsa to a .400 clip (22-of-55). In the second half, however, the Green Wave hit just 11-of-30 shots from the floor (.367) and was 1-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc (.125) while the Golden Hurricane had a trio of 3-point baskets among their 11 field goals during the same span.
Sophomore guard Danielle Blagg join Bibbins in double figures with 12 points while Dale and senior guard Tyria Snow both had seven. Snow led Tulane with four assists and shared team-high steal honors with Blagg, Dale, sophomore forward Adesuwa Ebomwonyi and senior guard Olivia Grayson with two apiece. Dale led all players with five blocked shots.
"I'm glad (Bibbins and Blagg) played today," Stockton said of the two players who missed Thursday's game vs. UTEP due to illness. "They're great for us. We just have to have other players still play well. I don't think Olivia Grayson or Janique (Kautsky) had their better games today, and we need them to be good, too. That's what makes us good.
"We don't have somebody who is going to score 30 points, but we've got players that can do a lot of things. I think it was defensively that we really let down today."
The Green Wave got off to a rocky start, missing their first four shots and turning it over five times on their first seven possessions while giving up 10 points to the Golden Hurricane to fall behind by double-digits early. Bibbins scored Tulane's first points on a layup at the 16-minute mark. Tulsa's advantage swelled to as many as 14 at 18-4 with 13:02 to play in the opening half, but Tulane used a 15-0 run over the next 6:58 to take a one-point lead.
The two teams traded blows the remainder of the half, and the Green Wave used an 8-1 run over the final 2:45 of the opening stanza to break a 27-27 tie and go into the locker room at the break on top, 35-29.
Tulane extended its lead to eight on a Bibbins jumper to open the second half before the Tulsa offense awoke and the game was tied at 39-all at the 16:22 mark. Tulsa took the lead for the first time since the opening half at 44-43 courtesy of a three-point play by Kelsee Grovey just under three minutes later and used a 16-10 run to hold a 60-53 advantage with 3:11 on the clock.
The Green Wave rallied with a 7-0 run to the things up at 60-all, but Taleya Mayberry put Tulsa on top for good when she was fouled converting a fast-break layup and sank the ensuing free throw to stake the Golden Hurricane to a 63-60 lead with 45 seconds remaining. Sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan sank a pair of free throws to make it a one-point affair, Grovey put Tulsa back up by three with two free throws of her own, and Mayberry sank two more freebies to account for the Hurricane's final tally. Snow sank a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left to play, but Tulsa was able to successfully inbound the ball and run out the clock before the Green Wave could foul.
Mayberry led Tulsa with a game-high 24 points and Tiffany Couisnard added 10 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocked shots. Mayberry paced the squad with four assists and chipped in with seven rebounds and a steal in 39 minutes of play.
The Green Wave return to action on Thursday, Feb. 14, when they play host to Rice at 7 p.m. in Devlin Fieldhouse. The game against the Owls is the first of two home contests for Tulane, which will take on Houston on Sunday with tipoff slated for 2 p.m.
For tickets to those games, as well as future Green Wave events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.