Feb. 16, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's basketball team returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 17, when the Green Wave play host to Conference USA foe Houston in the annual "Play 4Kay" contest in Devlin Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Formerly known as the WBCA Pink Zone and established in 2007, the Play 4Kay initiative is a cooperative effort nationwide of collegiate women's basketball coaches raising breast cancer awareness of the court, across campus, in communities and beyond. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund will continue to be the official charity of the initiative.
Women's Basketball Rolls Past C-USA Rival Houston, 74-56
Five Green Wave players posted double-digit scoring totals and the offense connected at a season-best .525 clip from the field (31-of-59) as the Tulane University women's basketball team rolled past Conference USA rival Houston, 74-56, on Saturday afternoon at Hofheinz Pavilion.
"The pink game is always a nice thing for us," Tulane head women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton said. "I knew Kay Yow my whole life, really. Every time I walk out for that game, I have fond memories of her. I think it's a great tribute to someone very special and it's a great way to bring recognition to this terrible disease. I think that women's basketball has done a lot for cancer research and I hope we can continue to grow this in our game."
Tulane enters Sunday's contest 18-5 overall, 7-3 in Conference USA play and looking to build on the momentum of a 61-45 win over Rice on Thursday night in Devlin Fieldhouse.
As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 66.6 points, 40.8 rebounds, 16.8 assists, 9.7 steals and 4.7 blocks per game. Redshirt-sophomore forward Whitney Bibbins leads the Tulane offense with 12.5 points per game while sophomore guard Danielle Blagg and senior guard Olivia Grayson follow with respective scoring averages of 10.4 and 9.0. Sophomore forward Tiffany Dale paces the squad with 6.7 boards per game to go with a team-best 38 blocked shots, Grayson headlines the defense with 47 steals, and sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 98 assists.
Houston, meanwhile, comes to town 10-13 on the year, 4-6 in C-USA play and aiming to bounce back from a 59-55 loss to Tulsa on Thursday night in Hofheinz Pavilion.
As a team, the Cougars are averaging 63.7 points, 41.9 rebounds, 11.0 assists, 9.9 steals and 4.1 blocks per contest. Porsche Landry leads Houston with 16.8 points per game while Marissa Ashton and Yasmee Thompson follow with scoring averages of 8.6 and 8.3, respectively. Landry also paces the Cougars with 102 assists, Thompson leads the squad with 8.9 rebounds per game to go with a team-best 36 blocked shots, and Te'onna Campbell headlines the defense with 65 steals.
Houston is hitting 36.7 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 535-of-1459 attempts, including a 106-of-400 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.265) while allowing opponents to tally a 37.8 field goal percentage (538-of-1424) with a 32.5 performance from 3-point land (125-of-385). Cougar foes are averaging 64.8 points, 43.8 rebounds, 12.4 assists, 9.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
"It is a tough opponent," Stockton said. "I think what's scary about that game is when we beat them (earlier in the year), we played so well against them last time. We shot 52 percent and I don't know if you can plan on doing that again. They're very athletic and I think they're getting better as the season goes on. It's a dangerous game and we have to be ready to play."
Sunday's game marks the 34th meeting between Tulane and Houston on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a 21-12 advantage in the all-time series. The Wave are 20-11 against the Cougars under Stockton and all of those games have come since the Cougars joined Conference USA prior to the 1996-97 season.
The Tulane/Houston series dates back to March 7, 1979, when the Cougars earned a 65-57 win in the SWAIAW Regional Tournament. The Green Wave are 9-5 against the Cougars in New Orleans, including a 71-43 decision in the 2011-12 regular-season finale on March 1.
That game was the third of four consecutive head-to-head wins for Tulane against Houston as the Green Wave posted a 70-60 win over the Cougars in the 2011 C-USA Championship semifinals on March 1, 2011, in El Paso, Texas, a 71-51 victory in Houston on Feb. 9, 2012, and a 74-56 win at Houston two weeks ago (Feb. 2) in Hofheinz Pavilion.
"It's an easier prep because we remember them, but it is tough to turn around and play somebody (again) right away," Stockton added. "It seems like a long time ago when we played at Marshall, but it's one of those games where I'm sure (Houston is) going to want a little revenge coming in here just because of the way we played."
Following Sunday's game against the Cougars, Tulane will head to Birmingham, Ala., where the Green Wave will face league foe UAB on Thursday, Feb. 21, in Bartow Arena. Tulane's next home game is slated for Sunday, Feb. 24, when Tulsa comes to town for a 2 p.m. showdown.
For tickets to that game, 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.