Brett Benzio's 13-point, 11-rebound effort earned her MVP honors
Dec. 21, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane used a 14-0 run to seize control of the game, and cruised to a 68-46 win over Providence to take the championship of the Tulane DoubleTree Classic for the 10th time in 13 seasons Sunday at Fogelman Arena. Brett Benzio recorded her second double-double, with 13 points and 11 rebounds to be named tournament MVP.
Joining Benzio on the all-tournament team were senior point guard Ashley Langford and senior guard Megan Valicevic. Langford, who handed out nine assists on Saturday, added five assists and 10 points on Saturday, while Valicevic chipped in nine points and seven rebounds after an 11-point outing on Saturday. She also added six assists in the tournament.
The Green Wave won its seventh-straight to improve to 8-3 on the season.
Tulane dominated inside with a 26-14 points in the paint advantage. Tulane owned a 16-5 margin in second chance points, scoring the first 14 second-chance points of the game. Tulane's front line featuring the 6-3 Benzio, the 6-1 Brittany Lindsey, gave away size to 6-4 Emily Cournoyer, but the Green Wave held a 44-28 advantage in rebounding, holding Cournoyer to just two rebounds and three points. Cournoyer was a force inside Saturday, with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Lindsey opened the game with a hoop and some harm, giving Tulane an early 3-0 lead. Following a three from Valicevic, Providence responded with a pair of baskets from Shantee Darrian for an 8-6 lead. Chassity Brown intercepted a pass and returned it 74 feet for a lay-up, tying the game at 10-10. Darrian connected on her first three attempts as Providence led 19-14.
Indira Kaljo knocked down a three from the corner, as the Friars led 20-17, but the Wave embarked on a 14-0 run, holding Providence scoreless for 7:47. The run started as Tiffany Aidoo found Brett Benzio in the paint for a jumper as Tulane took a 21-20 lead with 8:11 remaining. Valicevic hit another three and Langford added a jumper and a pair of free throws.
The Green Wave took a 35-25 lead into the half, as PC's Brittany Dorsey hit a three at the buzzer. Valicevic led all scorers with eight points. Tulane forced 12 first-half turnovers, scoring 12 points off Friar faux pas. The Friars connected on 43 percent from the field, compared to Tulane's 34 percent, but the Green Wave attempted 12 more shots than Providence and made it to the free throw line twice as often, hitting all eight of their attempts.
In the second half, Langford opened with a pair of free throws and Benzio scored inside as Tulane opened with the first four points. Aidoo converted a pair of lay-ups while being fouled, and added another as Tulane ran out to a 49-29 lead.
Kaljo hit another three-pointer, and then finished a two-on-one give and go with Roshaunda Barnes as the Green Wave led by as many as 27, at 61-34 with 8:36 left. The Wave coasted home by hitting 20-of-24, from the free throw line.
Providence was led by Darrian's 10 points and 10 rebounds, which earned her All-Tournament Team honors. Southeast Missouri State's Sonya Daugherty, and Alabama State's Erica Lumpkin were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Tulane is back in action on Sunday, Dec. 28 against the Temple Owls at 4 p.m.