Jan. 25, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - After a week away from intercollegiate competition, the Tulane University women's basketball team returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 27, when the Green Wave play host to Conference USA foe East Carolina at 2 p.m. in Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Green Wave enter the contest 14-3 overall, 3-1 in league play and looking to build on the a three-game winning streak after posting road wins at Marshall, 67-65, on Jan. 13 and Rice, 69-65, on Jan. 17, and defeating Memphis at home, 72-62, on Jan. 20. While there can often be concerns that time away from the court can lead to a rusty performance the next time out, Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said she does not expect that to be an issue when her team takes the court against the Pirates.
|East Carolina (Quarterfinals)||51|
Women's Basketball Advances To C-USA Semifinals With 67-51 Win Over East Carolina
Junior guard Olivia Grayson had a game-high 23 points and freshman Danielle Blagg scored 18 of her 19 points on the strength of six 3-pointers as the Tulane University women's basketball team opened play in the 2012 Conference USA Championship with a 67-51 victory over East Carolina in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon at the University of Memphis' Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
"The one thing about this is it's a long journey. You've got to keep your eye on one game at a time. If you don't, I think it'll mess you up. For us, we have to make sure that we're ready for East Carolina right now and prepare for next week when it's time. Right now it's about our team. We've spent a lot of time on our team and getting our team better. That's got to be our focus."
Sunday's game will be broadcast live on the flagship radio station of Tulane basketball, The Ticket 106.1 FM, and both live audio and video streams are available on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. In addition, live stats will be provided for free on the web via GameTracker.
Tulane is connecting at a .413 clip from the field, hitting 423-of-1025 shots from the floor, and 95-of-277 tries from beyond the 3-point arc (.343), while allowing opponents to shoot .376 overall (373-of-993) and .300 from 3-point land (83-of-277). Green Wave foes are averaging 59.7 points, 36.2 rebounds, 13.6 assists, 9.2 steals and 2.9 blocks so far in 2012-13.
"I definitely think we've added an intensity factor to our game," Stockton said. "Against Memphis, we were very intense. Even when we made mistakes, we were intense with it. In what we call 50-50 balls, we were able to get most of those. That's a really important thing if you want to do well in your season.
"We've got some people playing very well. You can look at Danielle Blagg. She's come along and she's playing well. Olivia Grayson is playing well. I thought Jamie Kaplan had one of her best games of the year the other day, so it's nice to see the team come together but also see individuals excelling."
East Carolina, meanwhile, comes to town 12-5 on the year, 2-2 in Conference USA play and fresh off 69-63 win over Tulsa on Feb. 20 in Greenville, N.C.
As a team, the Pirates are averaging 66.2 points, 40.6 rebounds, 16.3 assists, 13.4 steals and 3.8 blocks per contest. Whitny Edwards leads four ECU players with double-figure scoring averages at 11.7 points per game while Britny Edwards, Celeste Stewart and Kristine Mial follow with averages of 11.4, 10.5 and 10.0, respectively. Britny Edwards has a team-high 8.7 rebounds per outing and also leads the team with 26 blocked shots. Stewart headlines the Pirates' offense with 77 assists and Kyani White has a club-best 43 steals.
East Carolina is hitting 39.5 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 439-of-1110 attempts, including an 87-of-329 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.264) while allowing opponents to tally a 36.1 field goal percentage (323-of-894) with a 27.1 performance from 3-point land (51-of-188). Pirate foes are averaging 54.8 points, 39.2 rebounds, 10.1 assists, 8.5 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.
"They are very much an improved team," Stockton said of East Carolina. "Offensively, they run a lot of different sets and it's nice having this long to prepare for that. Also, on defense, they lead the league in steals. That's going to be a challenge for us - to not turn over the ball because that leads to their offense."
Sunday's game marks the 16th meeting between Tulane and East Carolina on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a 12-3 advantage in the all-time series. All but one of the games has come under Stockton's direction and since the Pirates joined C-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 12-2 against East Carolina with Stockton at the helm of the program. Last season, the Green Wave won the lone regular-season meeting, 63-49, on Feb. 2, 2012, in Greenville, N.C., and eliminated the Pirates from the C-USA Championship with a 67-51 quarterfinals victory on March 8, 2012, in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Memphis.
The Green Wave are 4-1 against the Pirates in New Orleans, and have won the last four meetings in what is now Devlin Fieldhouse (formerly Fogelman Arena). The last time the two teams squared off in the Crescent City was Jan. 13, 2011, when Tulane came away with a 71-61 win. The last time East Carolina won on the Green Wave's home court came on Jan. 16, 2004, when the Pirates skipped town with a 65-58 victory.
"This is a good team that we're playing," Stockton added. "It's going to be an exciting style of basketball. With their defensive system and the things that they bring to the table make them a good team. It's a great time of year now to get (our) team going, so hopefully we can get some fans."
Following Sunday's contest against the Pirates, Tulane will hit the road for league games at UCF and Houston on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, respectively, before returning to Devlin Fieldhouse on Feb. 7 when the Green Wave play host to UTEP.
For tickets the East Carolina or UTEP contests, as well as future Green Wave events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.