Jan. 29, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's basketball team will look to return to its winning ways on Sunday, Jan. 30, when the Green Wave play host to Conference USA foe UTEP in Fogelman Arena. Tipoff for that ballgame is slated for 2 p.m.
The Wave have dropped two of their last three contests and are 0-2 in their last two home games after dropping overtime decisions to Southern Miss (86-81 on Jan. 20) and Rice (74-70 on Jan. 27). Despite the recent losses, however, Tulane is 16-4 overall and alone in second place in the C-USA standings with a 5-2 league record. Ironically enough, that is the exact same record the Green Wave sported a year ago after 20 games as Tulane went on the finish 26-7, win the C-USA regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 72.6 points, 39.0 rebounds, 16.7 assists, 10.2 steals and 5.4 blocks per game. Senior forward Tiffany Aidoo is one of five players averaging double figures and leads the team with 14.3 points per game. Fellow seniors Danielle Nunn and Roshaunda Barnes follow Aidoo's lead with respective scoring averages of 14.2 and 13.1. Junior center Brett Benzio paces the squad with 7.6 rebounds per game and has a team-best 54 blocks. Barnes headlines the team with 105 assists and 63 steals.
Tulane is connecting at a .431 clip from the field, hitting 533-of-1236 shots from the floor and 98-of-301 shots from beyond the 3-point arc (.326), while allowing opponents to shoot .385 overall (462-of-1201) and .334 from 3-point land (105-of-314). Green Wave opponents are averaging 62.0 points, 40.3 rebounds, 13.2 assists, 7.4 steals and 3.0 blocks per game.
UTEP, meanwhile, comes to town 12-7 on the year, 4-3 in league play and looking to build on the momentum of a 69-66 victory over Tulsa on Thursday night in El Paso, Texas.
As a team, the Miners are averaging 71.8 points, 40.2 rebounds, 15.8 assists, 8.1 steals and 4.2 blocks per game. Gloria Brown is the lone UTEP player averaging double figures in scoring with 11.5 points per game, but Dietra Caldwell and Anete Steinberga are close behind with marks of 9.7 and 9.6, respectively. Kayla Thornton paced the Miners with 6.1 rebounds per outing while Brown leads the defense with 40 blocked shots. Caldwell and Kelli Willingham are tied for the team lead in assists and steals with identical 74 and 25 totals, respectively.
UTEP is hitting 43.6 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 488-of-1118 attempts, including a 115-of-318 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.362). The Miners' defense has allowed opponents to tally a 38.4 shooting percentage (413-of-1075) and a .309 clip from 3-point land (103-of-333). UTEP's opponents are averaging 65.2 points, 35.7 rebounds, 11.9 assists, 8.3 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.
Sunday's game marks 12th meeting between Tulane and UTEP on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a slight 6-5 advantage in the all-time series.
Tulane is 5-5 against UTEP under head coach Lisa Stockton with all of those games coming since the Miners joined Conference USA for the 2005-06 season. Last season, the Green Wave swept a pair of regular-season meetings with UTEP, winning 57-47 on Jan. 28 in Fogelman Arena while out-lasting the Miners 66-64 on March 3 in El Paso.
The Green Wave are 3-3 all-time against UTEP in Fogelman Arena and the last time Tulane lost to the Miners at home came back on Jan. 18, 2009, when UTEP claimed a 73-60 decision in New Orleans.
Following Sunday's game against UTEP, the Green Wave will hit the road for a trip to The Lone Star State when Tulane will take on C-USA rival SMU on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum. From there, Tulane will return to Fogelman Arena on Sunday, Feb. 6 when the Wave take on Houston at 1 p.m.
Tickets to all Tulane 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.