Dec. 20, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - Senior guard Chassity Brown tied her career high with 23 points and was one of five Green Wave players to reach double figures today in an 84-51 Tulane victory over Stephen F. Austin in non-conference action at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane (7-2) won its fifth straight game of the season and remained perfect during the month of December, and also chalked up its fourth consecutive win over SFA (5-3). The Green Wave's point total was the most since scoring 86 against Louisiana-Monroe in the season opener and the five players in double figures was the most in one game this season.
"I felt good that we came out ready to play and then they made their run and we responded, and that is what our team has done all season," TU head coach Lisa Stockton said. "We really did it with our defense today. We have two point guards in Roshaunda Barnes and Olivia Grayson who each handled the pressure very well today. This was a big challenge for the two of them and they handled it and that's what turned into points for us. We handled the press and came down and got easy shots.
"I felt like we took more away from them defensively in the second half. When they caught up in the first half we gave them too many good looks and they did a good job of hitting them. They didn't get as many looks in the second half and the biggest thing is when we had numbers we converted easy shots instead of settling for a low percentage shot."
Tulane came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, opening the game with a 13-0 run and holding Stephen F. Austin scoreless during the first four minutes of the contest. TU forced five turnovers and Brown's three-pointer at 17:03 gave the Wave a 13-0 advantage.
However, SFA finally woke up and stormed back with a run of its own. Antoinette Davis nailed a trey at 16:02 to put the Ladyjacks on the board and sparked a 23-9 spurt that saw the visitors force five TU turnovers and drill four treys, including Schera Sampson's three-ball at the 10:23 mark that gave SFA its first lead of the game, 23-21.
The two teams traded the lead for the next four minutes before Tulane freshman Janique Kautsky came off the bench and buried a trey at 6:46 that snapped a 27-27 tie and gave the Wave the lead for good.
During the final stretch of the first half, Tulane broke open a tight contest with a 10-2 run to extend its lead to 13 points with 0:17 remaining in the period. But SFA's Whitney Cormier connected on a long three-pointer with 0:04 remaining to cut the deficit to 44-34 at intermission.
Tulane continued to roll in the second half, opening up a quick 12-point lead following a lay-up from freshman Olivia Grayson. Brown then broke free for a lay-up and drained a pair of free throws for a four-point spurt that increased the Wave's advantage to 16 points at 14:42.
From there, the baskets continued to fall and TU led by the final margin of 33 points on two occasions. Tulane subbed its entire bench and all but one Green Wave player reached the scoring column.
It was a tale of two halves for the Wave defense. After allowing SFA 34 points on a 42.4 percent shooting effort, including 46.2 percent from behind the three-point line in the first half, Tulane held the Ladyjacks to six total field goals and 17 points in the second period.
Tulane's offense, meanwhile, sizzled in each half as the team combined for a 57.1 percent performance from the field in the opening period and a 51.7 percent effort in the second half. The Green Wave also fared well from long distance by burying 7-of-15 three-point field goal attempts.
Along with Brown, senior Indira Kaljo poured in 12 points off the bench and grabbed a season-high six rebounds, while junior Roshaunda Barnes and freshman Olivia Grayson each added 11 points and junior Danielle Nunn contributed 10 points. Barnes' point total was her career high, while Grayson dished out a game-best seven assists.
Sophomore Brett Benzio pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds, while Brown and Nunn each swiped a game-high four steals apiece.
"I think our defense was the most important thing tonight," Brown said. "We both run the same offense and we're very similar teams so it just came down to execution and I think we just executed better today. We had some good defensive stops and a lot of steals. At the beginning of the game we got up 13-0 and we got lax on our defense and they got back into the game. We tightened up on defense in the second half and I think we were all on the same page and that seemed to be the difference."
The Green Wave shot 54.4 percent for the game, including 46.7 percent from behind the arc, and out-rebounded the Ladyjacks, 48-40. Stephen F. Austin managed just a 26.7 shooting performance and suffered 22 turnovers.
Tulane remains at home when it returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 22 against McNeese State at 7 p.m. For tickets to all of TU's athletic events, please call (504) 861-WAVE (9283).