Junior guard Danielle Blagg had 19 of her team-high 21 points in the second half on Saturday afternoon at UAB.
Feb. 22, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Junior guard Danielle Blagg scored 19 of her team-leading 21 points in the second half and junior point guard Jamie Kaplan posted her fifth double-digit assist ballgame with a game-high 12 dimes, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team dropped an 81-79 decision to Conference USA foe UAB on Saturday afternoon in Bartow Arena.
It was a day where Tulane held a 32-26 advantage in made field goals, a 52.5 (32-of-61) to 44.8 (26-58) edge in field goal percentage and a 58.3 (7-of-12) to 45.5 (10-of-22) margin in 3-point percentage. The game, however, came down to free throws where UAB was 19-of-21 from the charity stripe while the Green Wave were just 8-of-16, including a 1-for-6 showing in the second half. The loss snapped Tulane's four-game winning streak as the Wave fell to 19-7 on the year and 10-3 in league play. UAB, meanwhile, won its third in a row to improve to 15-10 overall and 7-5 in conference action.
"They shot 19 free throws in the second half," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "They were 17-for-19, and we got six. That's a huge stat. We talked about not being able to get anything going, but I thought we could hold them, maybe get a foul called and break that momentum. When we got the ball, we scored. We shot 52 percent so we were able to score. With the free throws, those are just free points in there. Nineteen free throws in a half is a lot. We normally don't put people on the line that much, but that's probably the most glaring stat of any of them."
Tulane trailed by eight at 76-68 with 1:14 left to play and were down by seven with 29 seconds to go, but refused to go away without a fight. Freshman guard Courtnie Latham cut the deficit to five with a layup before junior wing Adesuwa Ebomwonyi stole the ensuing inbounds pass and found Blagg open on the right wing for a 3-pointer to make it a two-point affair.
Sophomore forward Tierra Jones stole the ball as UAB guard Ashley Grimes attempted to bring it up the court, and Kaplan was fouled while trying to shoot a layup with 3.4 seconds to play. Both free throws, however, were off the mark, but Tulane got new life as the ball bounced off an UAB player before rolling out of bounds. After a Blazers timeout, Tulane had one more chance to tie things up or potentially go ahead but Blagg's jumper was deflected by UAB guard Karisma Chapman to make sure her team's lead stood up.
"I give them a lot of credit," Stockton said of the Blazers. "We came back, had two free throws to tie it, got the ball back and another shot to tie it. It's disappointing. UAB has been in a lot of games and they've been fighting in a lot of ways. They've been to overtime with East Carolina. We really tried to talk to our team about that. We were a guard short (with an injury to freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl) so some of our players were playing extended minutes. This was a tough loss for us."
Blagg was one of four Tulane players to finish with double-digit scoring totals as junior forward Tiffany Dale had 17, Latham had 13 and Ebomwonyi added 10. Dale and Ebomwonyi shared team-high rebounding honors with seven each, Latham and Kaplan tied for the team lead in steals with three apiece, and Ebomwonyi headlined the Green Wave defense with two of the team's five blocked shots.
UAB came out on fire as the Blazers sank nine of their first 13 field goals to race out to a 23-10 lead. Each of UAB's first three made baskets were 3-pointers and a Grimes' trey with 12:46 to play in the first half staked the home team to a 13-point advantage.
The two teams traded buckets over the next 3:58 as the Blazers held a 12-point lead at 27-15, but the Tulane defense would hold UAB to just two field goals and six total points the rest of the half. The Green Wave whittled the deficit down to five at 29-24 and at 31-26 only to see the Blazers answer with points on each of their ensuing possession. From there, Tulane ended the half on an 8-0 run to take a 34-33 into the locker room at the break.
UAB set the tone for the rest of the game early in the second stanza, however, as Miranda Burroughs and Chelsee Black connected on back-to-back 3-pointers and Grimes sank a pair of free throws to open the half. Tulane halted the streak with an Ebomwonyi layup but tBurroughs buried another trey to stake the Blazers to an eight-point lead.
The Green Wave answered with another 8-0 run to tie things up and took a 51-50 lead with 11:34 to play on a Dale layup. The advantage would be short-lived as Chapman connected on a layup of her own the next time down the court and UAB would not trail again.
Black led UAB with a game-high 23 points while Chapman had 21, Grimes added 14 and Burroughs finished with 10. Chapman completed a double-double with 12 rebounds to go with five steals and a pair of blocked shots. Burroughs paced the Blazers with seven assists.
The Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 26, when they play host to Tulsa at 6 p.m. on the uptown New Orleans campus. That game is the first of a Tulane basketball doubleheader as the men's team will Florida Atlantic at approximately 8 p.m.
For tickets to those game, as well as future Green Wave Athletics events, contact the Tulane Ticket Office. The ticket office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson Jr. Center, and fans can also order tickets on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or by calling (504) 861-WAVE (9283).