Nov. 21, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - Five Green Wave players posted double-figure scoring totals and two pulled down at least 10 rebounds as the Tulane University women's basketball team rolled past cross-town foe UNO, 86-39, Monday evening at Fogelman Arena.
Senior Brett Benzio posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and rookie Danielle Blagg - the reigning Conference USA Freshman of the Week - scored a game-best 17 points to help the Green Wave improve to 4-0 on the year. The win over the Privateers was the most lopsided victory since the Green Wave defeated McNeese State by 56 (90-34) on Dec. 1, 2001, and the 47-point decision is tied for the seventh largest in Tulane history.
"I'm really glad that we could get a lot of people minutes," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "I think that will make us better. We're a team that can go deep, but this was great for some people to get out there and get some game minutes. I felt like we were able to keep up our intensity. That was one of our goals. These next few days are going to be so hard with travel and everything else that we really wanted to make sure we got a lot out of this game."
The Green Wave hit a season-best 49.2 percent of its shots from the field (32-of-65), including a 10-of-20 performance from beyond the 3-point arc for the second consecutive game. Tulane dominated the game in the post, pulling down 51 rebounds to UNO's 25, turning 21 offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points, and outscoring the Privateers in the paint 36-14. In addition, the Green Wave defense forced 24 turnovers - 13 via steal - and turned those UNO miscues into 32 points.
While Blagg paced the squad offensively, fellow freshman Jamie Kaplan was close behind with 14 points and both sank four 3-pointers each. Junior Tyria Snow and Katye Magee, meanwhile, tallied career highs with 10 points apiece. Snow and junior Olivia Grayson shared team-high assist honors with four each, and Snow tallied a personal-best five steals. Rookie forward Adesuwa Ebomwonyi led all players with 11 rebounds and chipped in with seven points and three assists.
The two teams traded points early on but Tulane used a 12-0 over a 4:14 span to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 15-4 lead and never looked back. The Green Wave lead grew as the game progressed and Tulane went into the locker room at halftime on top 42-17.
The onslaught continued in the second half as the Green Wave scored the stanza's first 12 points and held UNO without a basket until the 16:08 mark when Yosha Watson hit a layup to cut the deficit to 35 at 54-19. That, however, is as close as the Privateers would get the rest of the way as Tulane padded its lead all the way through to the final horn.
"I thought our execution was good," Stockton said. "If there were two negatives, it's that we turned the ball over too much and our free throws. Other than that, I thought all of the stats were good. Players came in and contributed. Another thing that I think is a real positive for us is that our rebounding has been really good this year.
"What has hurt us in the last two years is our lack of rebounding. Now we've got somebody like Adesuwa who goes in for two games and has double-figure rebounds. That's a really good sign. Even against a bigger team like LSU, we were able to rebound. Tonight we really dominated the boards again."
Keri Thomas led UNO with eight points while Mirjam Sipos, Megan Buckley, Yosha Watson and Carla Russell scored six each. Watson paced the Privateers with six rebounds and a pair of blocks, and Sipos handed out a game-high five assists to go with a team-best five steals.
The Green Wave return to action on Thursday, Nov. 24, when they head South of the Border to take on nationally-ranked Purdue in day one of the Cancun (Mexico) Challenge at 12:30 p.m. at the Moon Palace Resort. Tulane will close out the tournament on Friday with an 11 a.m. showdown with Idaho State.
From there, Tulane will play at Louisiana Tech on Dec. 2, at Mississippi State on Dec. 4, and at North Texas on Dec. 9. The Wave's next home game is slated for Sunday, Dec. 11, when they play host to Southern at 2 p.m. in Fogelman Arena.
For tickets to that game and future Green Wave home events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office either in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. The Ticket Office located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center on Ben Weiner Drive, is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.