Nov. 12, 2012
MONROE, La. - Senior guard Olivia Grayson posted game-high totals with 10 rebounds and six assists, and sophomore guard Danielle Blagg came off the bench to lead all scorers with 17 points, as the Tulane University women's basketball team defeated ULM, 70-60, on Monday night in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
Tulane held a 10-point halftime lead at 39-29 and the advantage dipped below double digits just twice the rest of the way. With the win, the Green Wave improved to 2-0 on the young season and posted their 13th consecutive victory against an in-state opponent. ULM, meanwhile, fell to 0-2.
"It was a good win, and a win on the road," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "One of the things that we're trying to accomplish is we're trying to play a lot of players and get good minutes from them. We're really challenging them to come in and do what they do. If they're a rebounder, they've got to come in and do that. Same thing if you're a scorer or a shooter...We're going to keep developing. I think the players will start understanding their roles a little better and we'll keep that defensive pressure on."
Tulane out-rebounded ULM 42-29 and turned 16 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points. Blagg's performance off the bench helped the Green Wave reserves outscore their ULM counterparts, 36-24. The Wave connected on 46.6 percent of their field goals (27-of-58), including a .571 clip in the first half when Tulane hit 16-of-28 shots.
Blagg hit 7-of-13 shots from the field, including a 3-of-5 showing from beyond the 3-point arc, to go with six rebounds, one assist and a block. Sophomore Tiffany Dale was second to Blagg with 13 points while senior wing Janique Kautsky and sophomore forward Adesuwa Ebomwonyi had seven each. Dale led all players with three steals.
"Danielle obviously helped us with her shooting, but she had some blocked shots and she had her hands in a lot of things," Stockton said. "People don't realize this, but it's really tough to shoot over Danielle. She was really bothering them on defense and when we made that run, took the lead and didn't relinquish it, she really helped us then."
Momentum and the lead shifted sides several times over the first 12 minutes and the score was tied at 19-all with 8:13 left to play in the first half. From there, Tulane went on a 13-0 run only to see ULM come right back with an 8-0 run to make it a five-point ballgame at 32-27 with 2:11 to go before the break.
A layup by senior guard Tyria Snow and a Blagg 3-pointer pushed the lead back to double digits, and after a pair of free throws by the Warhawks' Christina Gray, Blagg hit a jumper as the first-half horn sounded to send the Green Wave to the locker room with a 39-39 advantage.
ULM cut Tulane's edge to nine at 35-44 3:33 into the second half and down to eight at 45-37 just over two minutes later. The Green Wave responded with a layup plus an and-one free throw by Dale, a jumper by Blagg and a layup by sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan to stretch the lead up to 15, and Tulane led by as many as 17 three times in the second half.
A Kautsky 3-pointer made it 68-51 with 5:35 left in regulation, but that would be Tulane's final field goal of the contest. The Warhawks, meanwhile, outscored the Green Wave 9-2 rest of the way to account for the final score.
"We did a much better job tonight coming out in the second half (than we did in the season opener)," Stockton said. "I thought we kept our intensity up, the defense was a little more aggressive and we got some steals. They had some turnovers in the second half that really hurt them but they didn't have as many open shots and that was key...Our rebounding kept us in it. Our players really hit the boards. I'm looking at the stat sheet and Olivia has 10 and that's great for a guard."
Jae Shin, who hit four 3-pointers, led three ULM players in double-figure scoring totals with 14. Ashleigh Simmons was next for the Warhawks with 11 points while Alayshia Hunter finished with 10. Hunter led the home team with eight rebounds, Elexar Tugler and Jasmine Shaw had four assists each, while Simmons, Tugler and Shin shared team-high steal honors with two apiece.
The Green Wave return to action on Friday, Nov. 16, when they travel to Baton Rouge to take on Southern at 6 p.m. From there, Tulane will fly to Flagstaff, Ariz., for the NAU Thanksgiving Tournament from Nov. 23-24 before returning home on Nov. 28, when the Wave play host to Auburn. Tipoff for that game is slated for 7 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on Cox Sports Television.
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.