Nov. 24, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - Freshman Leslie Vorpahl scored a career-high 22 points and junior Danielle Blagg added 10 in her first action of the 2013-14 season, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team dropped 69-55 decision to North Carolina State on Sunday afternoon in Reynolds Coliseum.
Vorpahl connected on 7-of-12 field goals, including a 2-of-4 performance from beyond the 3-point arc, and converted on all six of her free-throw opportunities to post the highest scoring total by a Green Wave (4-1) player so far this season. North Carolina State (5-0), however, countered with an inside/outside game that saw the Wolfpack outscored Tulane in the paint 20-14 while connecting on eight 3-pointers.
"It was two things today," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "We thought rebounding was really going to be key. N.C. State did a tremendous job on the boards to get some extra shots. When you look at their first four games and how many extra possessions they had because of offensive rebounds. No. 2 was trying not to give up fast-break points. We didn't want to give them any easy baskets. We did a pretty good job of No. 2 but not a very good job at No. 1. For us, we probably just weren't patient enough on offense."
As a team, the Green Wave connected on 35.6 percent of the field goal attempts (16-of-45) while allowing the Wolfpack to hit 40.3 percent of their shots from the floor (25-of-62). Tulane had a solid performance from 3-point line with five treys on eight shots, and sank 18-of-21 free throws. Junior forward Tiffany Dale led the Wave with nine reobunds and a pair of steals while junior point guard Jamie Kaplan had a team-best four assists.
The difference in the game came in the paint where North Carolina State held a 39-33 advantage and turned 15 offensive boards into 16 second-chance points.
Vorpahl opened the scoring with a 3-pointer 53 seconds into the contest and the Green Wave hung tough early on, facing just a one-point deficit at 10-8 with 14:15 on the clock. From there, the Wolfpack went on a 15-5 run over the next 5:47 to stake N.C. State to a 25-14 lead.
Tulane cut the deficit down to six twice late in the first half, including at 29-23 following a pair of Vorpahl free throws with 37 seconds to play before the break. After holding N.C. State without a field goal for nearly a six-minute span late in the half, the Green Wave gave up an offensive rebound with 25 seconds to play in the frame and Len'Nique Brown buried a jumper from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded to make it 31-23 at the half.
Brown's bucket sparked an 18-6 Wolfpack rally which spanned both halves and give North Carolina State a 47-29 lead with 12:15 left to play. Tulane answered with a 10-2 run over the next 3:52 to make it a 49-39 affair, but that was as close as the Green Wave would get the rest of the way.
"We've got some young players playing important roles and this was Danielle Blagg's first game back," Stockton added. "We were trying to get her back out there and get her used to being on the floor. In the second half, we came back and were aggressive. We played hard. We got down by a lot and fought back. We made some things happen and got some steals, but we just couldn't finish it."
Kody Burke led three Wolfpack players in double figures with a game-high 24 points while Markeisha Gatling and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman added 14 and 10, respectively. Burke also paced N.C. State with nine rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots. Goodwin-Coleman and Len'Nique Brown shared team-high assist honors with four each.
Tulane returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 30, when the Green Wave play host to Ole Miss at 2 p.m. in New Orleans. For tickets to that game, as well as future Tulane 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).