Feb. 21, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Sophomore guard Danielle Blagg scored a team-high 14 points and sophomore forward Tiffany Dale fell a bucket and a rebound shy of a double-double as the Tulane University women's basketball team upended Conference USA foe UAB, 57-52, on Thursday evening in Bartow Arena.
After hitting just 30.6 percent of their first-half field goals (11-of-36), the Green Wave connected at a .500 clip (12-24) while holding the Blazers to an 8-of-31 performance (.258) after halftime. With the win, Tulane improves to 19-6 on the year and 8-4 in league play. UAB, meanwhile, falls to 15-10 overall and 6-6 in conference action.
"In the first half, we took good shots and they didn't go in," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "We ended up with 18 offensive rebounds, but we had 14 by halftime. That was really keeping us in the game. We came out and shot so much better in the second half. We did a much better job in the second half of taking good shots and creating shots."
Tulane turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 10-point lead midway through the second half, and appeared to have the game in the bag as the Green Wave led by nine at 55-46 with 35.8 seconds left to play.
UAB, however, got back-to-back 3-pointers by Ashley Grimes to make it a one-possession game with 18.2 on the clock. The Blazers had a chance to tie the game later, but Grimes' attempt from beyond the arc was short of the rim, senior wing Janique Kautsky secured the rebound and was fouled, and hit a pair of free throws to account for the final score.
Blagg was the lone Tulane player to finish in double figures while Dale, senior guard Tyria Snow and redshirt-freshman forward Whitney Bibbins scored eight points apiece. Dale paced the Green Wave with nine rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocked shots, and senior guard Olivia Grayson handed out a team-best six assists.
The Green Wave held a 48-33 rebound advantage and turned 18 offensive boards into as many second-chance points. Tulane also had a 32-14 edge in points in the paint, turned 16 UAB turnovers into 17 points and had six fast-break points to the home team's two. In addition, the Wave's reserves outscored their counterparts from UAB, 24-16 to mark the 23rd time among 25 games to date that Tulane held an advantage in points off the bench.
"The thing that I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to do was we got some steals," Stockton said. "We actually had more steals than they did tonight, which was a nice thing, and we didn't turn the ball over. The fear is that when you turn the ball over against a team like this, they're going to score off of that. We didn't do that and that was an important stat for us."
UAB scored the game's opening points on a pair of Amber Jones free throws and the Blazers led by as many as five in the opening stanza at 12-7 with 12:06 to play before the break. Tulane scored six straight to take a 13-12 lead 3:31 later and went ahead by four at 22-18. The Blazers, however, outscored the Green Wave 7-2 the rest of the half to go into the locker room on top, 25-24.
Tulane opened the second half with a 10-2 run - including back-to-back 3-pointers by Blagg - to take a 34-27 advantage just over four minutes into the frame. The Green Wave's lead swelled to as many as 10 at 44-34 with 10:23 to go and again at 46-36 just under two minutes later before UAB cut the deficit to five on a Grimes 3-pointer to make it 49-44 at the 4:33 mark. Tulane answered with a layup by sophomore forward Adesuwa Ebomwonyi and a pair of free throws by both Grayson and Snow to set up the Blazers' last-minute comeback attempt.
Grimes led all players with 18 points and Kelsie Weynand had 12 off the bench courtesy of four 3-pointers. Karisma Chapman fell point shy of a double-double with nine points and game-high 13 rebounds. Khalilah Watson led UAB with six assists, and Jones had a team-best three steals.
The Green Wave return to action on Sunday, Feb. 24, when they play host to Tulsa at 2 p.m. in Devlin Fieldhouse. For tickets to that game, 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.