Jan. 14, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's basketball team will look to remain perfect in league play this week as the Green Wave play their first of two home games against Conference USA foes on Wednesday, Jan. 15, when they take on East Carolina at 7 p.m. in Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Tulane/East Carolina contest is one that features a pair of the better teams in the league as two programs have combined to post a 24-6 overall record. The teams enter the game evenly matched statistically and each of the last 10 regular-season meetings has been decided by an average of just 6.0 points per contest. The game against the Pirates comes three days before Tulane will square off against Southern Miss on Saturday with tip time slated for 2 p.m.
Women's Basketball Falls To C-USA Foe East Carolina, 55-52
Freshman center Chinwe Duru came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points and sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan posted her second-consecutive double-digit scoring contest with 10, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team dropped a 55-52 decision to Conference USA foe East Carolina on Sunday afternoon in Devlin Fieldhouse.
Wednesday's game will be broadcast live on the flagship radio station of Tulane women's basketball, WRBH 883. FM, and live video streaming is available on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. In addition, live stats are provided for free on the internet via GameTracker.
Tulane enters the week 11-4 on the year and 2-0 in Conference USA action after opening the league season with road wins at Marshall, 77-61, on Thursday and at Old Dominion, 92-62, on Saturday. As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 70.2 points, 42.5 rebounds, 16.5 assists, 8.0 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.
Junior guard Danielle Blagg leads four players averaging double figures offensively with 14.6 points per game while junior point guard Jamie Kaplan, junior forward Tiffany Dale and freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl follow with respective averages of 11.8, 10.3 and 10.2. Dale paces the team with 8.3 rebounds per game and sophomore center Chinwe Duru headlines the defense with 1.6 blocked shots per outing. Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 6.5 assists per game and junior forward Tierra Jones holds team-high steal honors with 1.5 thefts per contest.
"I feel [the win at Old Dominion] is something that we can build on," Stockton said. "Part of this game is confidence and being able to get your confidence going throughout the season. Our players feel good about how we played and we want to come back and repeat that. Hopefully we can build off of that confidence."
East Carolina, meanwhile, comes to town 13-2 overall, 1-1 in Conference USA and looking to bounce back from a 76-75 overtime loss at Florida International on Saturday in Miami.
As a team, the Pirates are averaging 75.3 points, 43.3 rebounds, 13.7 assists, 12.2 steals and 5.4 blocks per contest. Jada Payne leads East Carolina with 20.9 points per game while Abria Trice is next with a scoring average of 16.9. Payne also paces the team with 7.4 rebounds and Trice has a team-best 1.9 steals per outing. Janesha Ebron headlines the Pirate offense with 4.8 assists per game while Ondrea Shaw leads the ECU defense with 3.1 blocked shots per contest.
East Carolina is hitting 41.5 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 392-of-944 attempts, including an 86-of-285 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.302) while allowing opponents to tally a 35.2 field goal percentage (291-of-826) with a 27.3 performance from 3-point land (59-of-216). Pirates' foes are averaging 59.5 points, 35.4 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 7.8 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.
"The whole week is big for us, but we feel good that we started off 2-0," Stockton added. "We played very well against Old Dominion. We've got a team coming in that is 13-2, is playing really well and is shooting very well. It'll certainly be a challenge for us. Last year, they did a tremendous job against us. They were very physical, so we're going to have to be ready to play.
"They are very efficient scorers and they've got a couple of players who are tremendously efficient. The other thing we have to be ready for is how physical they are on defense. They're going to come and really defend us and be very physical. They've got great size so they're not easy to shoot over, so we're going to have to create our own shots."
Wednesday's game marks the 17th meeting between Tulane and East Carolina on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a 12-4 advantage in the all-time series. All but one of the games have come since the Pirates joined Conference USA prior to the 2001-02 season.
After dropping a non-conference contest the first head-to-head meeting with the Pirates, falling 75-65 on Nov. 29, 1986 in Statesboro, Ga., Tulane has gone 12-3 against East Carolina with Stockton at the helm of the program. In the lone matchup last season, the Pirates came to New Orleans and walked out of Devlin Fieldhouse with a 55-52 victory. The East Carolina victory snapped an eight-game winnings streak by the Green Wave over the Pirates as Tulane's previous loss in the series was a 76-68 contest back on Feb. 17, 2007, in Greenville, N.C.
The Green Wave are 4-2 against the Pirates in New Orleans, and had won the four consecutive meetings in Devlin Fieldhouse prior to last season's defeat. The only other time East Carolina won on Tulane's home court was Jan. 16, 2004, when the Pirates skipped town with a 65-58 victory.
Saturday's game against Southern Miss is the first of a day-night Green Wave basketball double-headers as the Tulane men's team will play host to C-USA foe Rice at 7 p.m. in Devlin Fieldhouse. For tickets to those games, 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).