Freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl and the Green Wave open the Conference USA portion of the 2013-14 schedule on Thursday when they take on Marshall in Huntington, W.Va. Game time is slated for 8 p.m. (CST) and the contest will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
Jan. 8, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's basketball team will tipoff its final go round as a member of Conference USA on Thursday, Jan. 9, when the Green Wave travel to Huntington, W.Va., to take on Marshall in the initial league game of the 2013-14 campaign for both teams. That game is slated to begin at 8 p.m. (CST) and the contest will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
The Green Wave enter the game against the Thundering Herd 9-4 on the year and with a head of steam after winning five of their last six games, but will be looking to bounce back from a 63-35 loss to LSU, which is currently ranked as high as No. 13 nationally. While the season starts anew with only league foes on the schedule the rest of the regular season, Tulane will look to close out its stint as a C-USA member on a high not before joining the American Athletic Conference next year.
Blagg Drains 8 Treys As Women's Basketball Downs Marshall, 67-57
Sophomore guard Danielle Blagg scored a career-high 26 points on the strength of an 8-for-13 performance from behind the 3-point arc as the Tulane University women's basketball team defeated Conference USA foe Marshall, 67-57, on Sunday afternoon at the Cam Henderson Center.
In addition to the television coverage, Thursday's game will be broadcast on the flagship station of Tulane women's basketball, WRBH 88.3 FM, and live audio streaming is available on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. Live stats will be provided on the Internet for free via GameTracker.
A charter member of Conference USA, Tulane has won more regular-season crowns (four) and tournament titles (five) than any other current member team since the conference was formed for the 1995-96 season. Along the way, Green Wave student-athletes have claimed All-Conference USA honors on 33 occasions - including nine first-teamers - Defensive Player of the Year three times, Sixth Player of the Year three times, Freshman of the Year twice, as well as Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year once each.
This year's C-USA, however, will have a bit of a new look. In addition to league staples East Carolina, Marshall, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP, the Green Wave will welcome Charlotte - which was a member of C-USA from 1995-2005 - Florida Atlantic (FAU), Florida International (FIU), Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion and Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) to the league this season.
Of those teams, seven made the postseason a year ago. Middle Tennessee, which won the Sun Belt Conference in 2012-13, and Tulsa made the NCAA Tournament while Charlotte, East Carolina, FIU, Old Dominion and UAB joined the Green Wave among the 64 teams selected to participate in the WNIT.
"Obviously Conference USA has changed so much this last year," Stockton said. "We have a lot of teams that we've never played before. For us, we've been a charter member of the conference and it's kind of bitter sweet. We're excited about where we're going but we certainly have some great memories as a member of this conference."
As a team, the Green Wave enter the showdown with the Thundering Herd averaging 68.0 points, 42.3 rebounds, 15.4 assists, 8.4 steals and 3.9 blocks per game. Junior guard Danielle Blagg leads the team with 13.9 points per game while junior point guard Jamie Kaplan follows with a mark of 11.8. Junior forward Tiffany Dale paces the team with 8.1 rebounds per game and sophomore center Chinwe Duru headlines the defense with 1.8 blocked shots per outing. Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 6.0 assists per game and junior forward Tierra Jones holds team-high steal honors with 1.5 thefts per contest.
Tulane is connecting at a .408 clip from the field, hitting 303-of-743 shots from the floor, and 70-of-196 tries from beyond the 3-point arc (.357), while allowing opponents to shoot .374 overall (287-of-768) and .307 from 3-point land (69-of-225). Green Wave foes are averaging 59.9 points, 36.8 rebounds, 12.8 assists, 8.2 steals and 2.4 blocks so far in 2013-14.
"If you take the LSU game out, we've played very well," Stockton said. "We've gotten better and improved. We see some players gaining confidence. Tierra Jones is playing very, very well. Jamie Kaplan is probably playing the best we've seen her play. You see the freshmen gaining confidence. With all of that, I feel that we have built some momentum heading into conference."
Marshall, meanwhile, enters Thursday's game 7-6 on the year and winners of its last two games after downing Davis & Elkins, 86-72, on Dec. 31 and defeating New Jersey Institute of Technology, 57-56, on Sunday afternoon.
As a team, the Thundering Herd are averaging 65.2 points, 39.4 rebounds, 12.2 assists, 7.2 steals and 4.6 blocks per contest. Leah Scott leads Marshall with 11.6 points per game while A.J. Johnson is close behind with a scoring average of 10.0. Chukwuka Ezeigbo paces the team with 7.1 rebounds per game and Chelsey Romero has a team-best 1.6 steals per outing. Norrisha Victrum, meanwhile, headlines the squad with 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.
Marshall is hitting 38.8 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 286-of-737 attempts, including an 82-of-270 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.304) while allowing opponents to tally a 36.5 field goal percentage (266-of-728) with a 28.7 performance from 3-point land (73-of-254). Thundering Herd foes are averaging 59.9 points, 39.4 rebounds, 13.2 assists, 5.8 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.
"They're doing a nice job," Stockton said of her team's Thursday opponent. "They've got a lot of nice offensive sets that they run. They've added some junior college players to their four-year players who are really very athletic. They're going to press. They're going to create a lot of havoc with their defenses. They'll switch their defense. We've going to have to be ready. It's always a tough place to play up there and it's a tough travel day."
Thursday's game marks the 10th meeting between Tulane and Marshall on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold an 8-1 advantage in the all-time series. All of the games have come under Stockton's direction, and have also come since the Thundering Herd joined C-USA prior to the 2005-06 season.
The Green Wave won the first head-to-head meeting with Marshall, downing the Herd 58-40 on Feb. 17, 2006, in Devlin Fieldhouse. The win at home was the first of three consecutive victories against the Herd before Marshall posted its lone win in the series with a 65-58 decision in the opening round of the 2008 C-USA Championship in Orlando, Fla.
Since then, Tulane has won five straight against Marshall and are 4-0 against the Thundering Herd in the Henderson Center, including last year's meeting on Jan. 13, 2012, when the Green Wave emerged with a 67-57 win.
Following the game at Marshall, Tulane will remain on the road and will play at Old Dominion on Saturday before returning home to face East Carolina on Wednesday, Jan.15. For tickets to that game, as well as future Green Wave 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).