March 1, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Junior point guard Jamie Kaplan posted a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team dropped a 79-67 decision to Conference USA foe Southern Miss on Saturday afternoon in Reed Green Coliseum.
Tulane trailed by just three points at 58-55 with 8:21 to play, but Southern Miss rattled off eight consecutive points and held the Green Wave scoreless for nearly four minutes to take control of the contest. In defeat, Tulane fell to 20-8 on the year and 11-4 in C-USA action. Southern Miss, meanwhile, won its 10th consecutive ballgame to improve to 23-5 overall and 12-3 in league play.
Kaplan was one of three Tulane players to post double-figure scoring totals as junior forward Tiffany Dale led the way with 21 points while junior guard Danielle Blagg finished with 12. Sophomore forward Tierra Jones finished second on the team in rebounding with 11 and led the defense with a pair of blocked shots. Kaplan also led the Wave with five assists and Dale posted a game-high three steals.
Tulane held a 47-39 rebounding advantage over the Golden Eagles, but after hitting 45.0 percent of their first half field goals (9-20), the Green Wave were just 14-of-40 in the second stanza (.350) to finish the day at .383 (23-of-60). Southern Miss, meanwhile, posted a 42.9 field goal percentage (27-of-63) for the game, including a .517 clip (15-of-29) in the second half.
Neither team could get much going offensively early on as the first points did not come until the 17:26 mark on a Dale free throw and the first goal was not until 48 seconds later on a layup by junior wing Adesuwa Ebomwonyi. Tulane held a 5-0 lead before Southern Miss got on the board on a pair of Ashley Folsom free throws.
The Golden Eagles battled back to knot the game at 10-all - the first of nine ties during the frame - and the lead changed hands nine times during the first 20 minutes of play. The Green Wave held a 34-33 with 2:24 to play before the break, but the Southern Miss defense held Tulane scoreless the rest of the half and got back-to-back 3-pointers by Alex Coyne and Brittany Dinkins to go into the locker room with a 39-34 lead.
Tulane scored the first four points of the second half and tied the score at 41-all on a free throw by sophomore forward Tierra Jones with 17:24 to play. Southern Miss answered with a pair of Kierra Jordan layups and a 3-pointer by Jamierra Faulker to take a 48-41 advantage it would not relinquish.
The Green Wave hung tough for a while and trailed by just one on three occasions before Southern Miss pulled away. Down by just three on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl - the team's lone trey of the contest - Tulane went just 1-for-10 from the field over the next 5:59.
Faulkner led Southern Miss with game highs of 22 points and 11 assists while sharing the team lead in steals with Jordan and Dinkins at two apiece. Jordan, Jerontay Clemons, Tamara Jones and Voché Martin scored 10 points each, and Martin led the Golden Eagles with eight rebounds.
The Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, March 5, when they close out the regular season against Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. on the uptown New Orleans campus. Prior to the contest, Tulane will recognize senior forward Brooke Blankenship and redshirt-junior guard Katye Magee - along with senior managers Amanda Hardy and Rachel Schwartz - with a special ceremony as the quartet will graduate in May.
For tickets to that 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).