Senior forward Tiffany Aidoo was named MVP of the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic after scoring 17 points in the champion-game victory over Old Dominion.
Dec. 30, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - After a quick glance at the stat sheet following Tulane's 62-59 win over Old Dominion in the title game of the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic Thursday afternoon in Fogelman Arena, it may be easy to realize why Green Wave forward Tiffany Aidoo was named Tournament MVP.
The senior from Slidell, La., led all players with 17 points while chipping in with three steals, two rebounds, one block and one assist. What the stat sheet does not show, however, is her solid defensive play in the waning moments of the contest that helped seal the victory.
With the Green Wave clinging to a 60-59 lead with less than a minute to play, Aidoo stepped in the path of Lady Monarchs guard Jasmine Parker for a charge. Aidoo later hit one-of-two free throws to make it a 61-59 contest, and the next time down the floor on defense, Aidoo stole the ball from Parker and nailed another shot from the charity stripe to account for the final score.
"I thought Tiffany drawing the charge there on a play that could have been called a foul otherwise was really the play of the weekend for us," Tulane University head women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton said. "It took the ball out of their hands, gave it to us and we were able to get to the free throw line and at least put points on the board.
"Our goal was they were not going to get a 3 to beat us. If they got a 2, we were just going to have to win it in overtime. But we really had to put some pressure on them."
With the win, Green Wave improved to 10-2 overall while claiming the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic team title for the third straight year and for the 12th time in the 15-year history of the event. Old Dominion, meanwhile, fell to 6-5 on the year.
Aidoo was one of three Green Wave players to post a double-digit scoring total as senior forward Danielle Nunn tallied 16 and senior point guard Roshaunda Barnes added 10. Junior center Brett Benzio led Tulane with nine rebounds and tied with senior forward Brittany Lindsey for team-high block honors with two each.
Barnes posted a game-high six steals and had six of the Green Wave's 13 steals. The Green Wave defense forced 26 Old Dominion turnovers which led directly to 24 Tulane points.
"Turnovers where the difference for us," Old Dominion head coach Wendy Larry said. "We had 26 so it shouldn't have been close. I'm proud of how hard we play, but sometimes we don't play as effective as we need to to win a game like that against a good Tulane team."
The two teams traded the first 14 points of the ballgame and Tulane went ahead by four at 12-8 on an Aidoo 3-pointer with 12:19 to play in the first half. As if to set the tone for the rest of the contest, Old Dominion scored eight straight points over the next 1:29 and a see-saw battle ensued. Neither squad led by more than three the rest of the half and the game was tied at 32-all as the teams headed into the locker room at the break.
The Green Wave scored nine of the first 13 points of the second half to take a 41-36 lead with 13:56 left to play and held five-point advantages at 43-38 with the 11-minute mark and again at 48-43 with 8:56 to go. A pair of layups by ODU's Tia Lewis made it a one-point affair, and following a Nunn basket, Kquanise Byrd buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 50-50 with 5:29 remaining on the clock.
Six free throws, three baskets and 2:58 later, the score remained deadlocked at 56-all, before Barnes put Tulane on top for good with a layup with 1:54 left in regulation. A Nunn jumped pushed the lead to four, but a Jackie Cook 3-pointer made it a one-point game with 49 seconds to go and set up Aidoo's late-game heroics.
"I think we made little mistakes tonight, but overall this was the most intense we came out to play today," Aidoo said. "I thought we communicated very well. Compared to last night, we played a heck of a lot better. The defensive stops we had at the end really changed the game for us. That's how we got the win."
Lewis posted the game's lone double-double with 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds to lead Old Dominion in both categories while Parker finished with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Lewis also added a team-best four steals and Cook paced the Lady Monarchs with four assists.
Tulane returns to action on Monday, Jan. 3, when the Green Wave play host to Southeastern Louisiana at 7 p.m. in Fogelman Arena. The game against the Lions is the third of a four-game homestand for Tulane as the Wave will open the Conference USA portion of their schedule on Jan. 6 against SMU.
Single-game tickets to those games, as well as future home contests, are available through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Floor seats are $15 while reserve and general-admission tickets can be purchased for $10 and $5, respectively. In addition, groups of 10 or more fans can purchase reserved tickets for $8 each and general admission seats go for $3 each.
The Tulane Athletics Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at (504) 861-WAVE (9283) via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
CONSOLATION GAME RECAP - CHARLOTTE 80, NICHOLLS STATE 54
Amanda Dowe and Gabby Tyler both posted double-doubles while Epiphany Woodson scored a game-high 20 points as Charlotte defeated Nicholls State, 80-54, in the consolation game of the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic Thursday afternoon in Fogelman Arena.
Woodson hit 7-of-13 shots from the field and was 3-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc as well as at the free throw line. Dowe had 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, and Tyler added 14 points and 12 boards to aid the 49ers effort. With the win, Charlotte improved to 11-3 on the year. Nicholls State, meanwhile, fell to 5-8.
The Colonels hung tough early on and the game was tied at 19-all with 6:55 to go before halftime. From there, however, Charlotte went on a 17-10 run to end the stanza and outscored Nicholls State 44-25 in the second half to cruise to the victory.
The 49ers out-rebounded the Colonels, 57-32, turned 27 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points and outscored NSU in the paint, 54-18. For the game, Charlotte connected on 44.2 percent of its shots from the field (34-of-77) and held the Colonels to just nine field goals after halftime.
Ricshanda Bickham paced Nicholls State with 17 points while K.K. Babin was next with 15 on the strength on four 3-pointers. Bickham paced the team with six rebounds and four assists, while Cassie Hearon tallied a game-high four steals.
2010 TULANE/DOUBLETREE CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Summer Leslie, G, Nicholls State
Tia Lewis, F/C, Old Dominion
Danielle Nunn, G/F, Tulane
Jasmine Parker, G, Old Dominion
Epiphany Woodson, G, Charlotte
MVP: Tiffany Aidoo, G/F, Tulane