Nov. 30, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - Junior forward Tiffany Dale posted her second double-double of the year with 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team fell to Ole Miss, 89-66, on Saturday afternoon in Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Rebels hit their first four shots to jump out to an early 10-4 lead and never trailed at any point in the contest. As a team, Tulane connected on season-low 34.5 percent of its field goals (20-of-58) while allowing Ole Miss - which entered the game connecting at a .368 clip - to convert on 32-of-62 of its shots from the field (.516), including a 43.8 percent showing from beyond the 3-point arc (7-of-16).
"First of all, they were shooting very well," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "They were a team shooting 35 percent on the year and they hit four of their first five shots. They really gained some confidence from that and we just didn't take very good shots in the beginning. We didn't feel like we couldn't recovery, but in the first half it was our rebounding. They were hitting their shots, they were getting in there and getting fouled, and getting some rebounds.
"For us, we were one-and-done. We didn't have many offensive rebounds in the first half. We got ourselves in a real hole there. In the second half, they came out and shot the ball. We just have to play tougher. That's what we just talked about in the locker room. I don't think we played very physical. I don't think we played very tough. That's the key when you play an SEC team or a team from a big conference. I thought that's the best I've seen Ole Miss play all year, but I also think we made a lot of mistakes that they really took advantage of."
Dale was one of three Tulane players to finish in double figures offensively as junior guard Danielle Blagg had 15 points off the bench and junior point guard Jamie Kaplan added 10. Kaplan led the team with six assists while freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl paced the Green Wave defense with a career-best four steals.
Tulane took advantage of 20 personal fouls called against the Rebels as the Green Wave connected on 23-of-30 free throws. The game, however, came down to post play as Ole Miss out-scored Tulane in the paint 38-22 and turned 13 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points.
"Tiffany is really a big player on both ends of the floor," Stockton said. "Today, she was really aggressive. She wanted to ball on offense. She got a rebound on the defensive end and really attacked with the dribble. She just looked like a very confident player out there. We really didn't get a lot from our other post players. Tierra Jones actually gave us some toughness, but we just didn't get a whole lot in the paint today and we have to work harder for it. In the second half we got some good looks from the perimeter, but we just didn't hit them."
Ole Miss scored the first six points of the ballgame on baskets by Shequilla Joseph, Tia Faleru and Valencia McFarland and the Rebels' lead never dipped below four the rest of the way. The Green Wave's first four points of the contest came via free throws and their first field goal did not come until the 14:54 mark when Dale hit a layup to make it 15-6.
Tulane hung tough for a while but with the score at 32-24 with 5:03 to go before the break, Ole Miss went on a 11-0 run over the next 2:44 to stretch the lead to 15 at 41-26. A pair of Jones free throws accounted for the final points of the half, and the Green Wave went into the locker room at the half down by 13.
The two teams traded the first eight points of the second stanza before Ole Miss used a 10-2 run to make it a 23-point affair at 55-32 with 14:09 to play. Tulane whittled the deficit down to 19 at 57-38 just over two and a half minutes later but could get no closer. A 3-pointer by Gracie Frizzell two possessions later made it 60-38 and the lead hovered in the mid-20s for the remainder of the ballgame.
"We talked about having a bad shooting night tonight, but we shot 34 percent and still put up 66 points," Stockton added. "If you can get anything going defensively and score 66 points, you've got a chance. We just absolutely couldn't stop them. We went to N.C. State and kind of had the same situation where we had a hard time defensively. Today, we had a hard time defensively. We've got a really good Auburn team that we're playing on Tuesday and they'll take advantage of that if we don't play a lot tougher than we did."
Diara Moore led three Ole Miss players in double figures with 25 points while Faleru added 17 and Frizzell chipped in with 12. Faleru posted the Rebels lone double-double with 10 rebounds and both McFarland and Moore handed out a game-high seven assists. Amber Singletary paced the Ole Miss defense with three steals while Joseph had a pair of blocked shots.
The Green Wave return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 3, when they travel to Alabama to take on Auburn. Tipoff for that game is slated for 6 p.m. Tulane's next home contest is scheduled for Dec. 8 when next-door neighbor Loyola comes to Devlin Fieldhouse for a 4 p.m. showdown.
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).