Feb. 19, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane women's basketball team will honor a pair of seniors and put its four-game win streak on the line this Saturday at 4 p.m. when the Green Wave hosts UAB in the final home game of the 2009-10 season at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane enters the matchup 20-5 on the year, 9-3 in Conference USA play and riding the high of a four-game winning streak with consecutive wins over SMU, Marshall, East Carolina and Memphis. With its win over the Tigers last Thursday, Tulane grabbed the top spot in the Conference USA standings with three games remaining in the regular season. Tulane is 11-3 overall at home this season, including 5-2 in league games.
As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 70.6 points, 35.4 rebounds, 16.2 assists, 12.4 steals and 3.0 blocks per game. Senior guard Chassity Brown leads the team with 13.9 points per game while junior guard/forwards Danielle Nunn and Tiffany Aidoo are next with respective averages of 10.4 and 10.0. Sophomore center Brett Benzio leads the team in rebounds, averaging 7.1 per game, while junior guard Roshaunda Barnes paces the Wave with 107 assists and 74 steals.
Tulane is hitting 43.2 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 616-of-1427 attempts, including 153-of-430 from beyond the 3-point arc (.356). The Green Wave defense has held opponents to a 38.7 shooting percentage (532-of-1373) and a 31.1 clip from 3-point land (104-of-334). Tulane opponents are averaging 59.4 points, 37.8 rebounds, 11.9 assists, 8.5 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.
UAB enters Saturdays contest with Tulane with an 11-13 overall record and a league mark of 5-7, which puts them currently in ninth place in the league standings, and is coming off a 68-59 loss at UTEP this past Thursday. The Blazers are 3-8 overall in road games this season, including 2-5 in C-USA action and has lost five outings away from home.
Jala Harris is one of three UAB players scoring in double figures with 17.3 points per game, while Tamika Dukes and Amanda Peterson are the team's second and third leading scorers with 12.4 and 10.4 points per contest, respectively. Dukes is also the team's top rebounder with 6.8 boards per outing. Harris leads all C-USA players in scoring during league play with 20.8 points per game.
As a team, the Blazers are shooting 38.3 (552-of-1441) percent from the field, including 34.3 percent (144-of-420) from behind the three-point line, and 62.4 percent (265-of-425) from the foul line. UAB is averaging 63.0 points, 37.0 rebounds, 10.6 assists, 7.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.
Brown and Kaljo make up the 2009-10 senior class and both players have left their marks on the program. Tulane is 15-0 under Lisa Stockton on Senior Day and Brown and Kaljo hope to join the last 43 Tulane seniors to win on Senior Day.
Brown is a four-year letterwinner who has saved her best performance for her final season. During her first three seasons at Tulane, she played in 78 games with 42 starts and averaged 7.2 points per game. As a senior, however, she has started 22 of the 23 games she has appeared in and leads the team with a 13.9 point-per-game average while ranking second on the squad in steals and third in assists. Entering today's ballgame, she leads Conference USA in steals per game while ranking seventh in the league in 3-pointers per game, nine in points per game and 17th in both assists per game and 3-point field goal percentage.
Kaljo came to Tulane following stops at Utah State and Ventura College. In her first season in a Green Wave uniform, she was named Conference USA Newcomer of the Year after setting a Tulane single-season 3-point field goal percentage record by hitting 42 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Her 66 3-pointers a year ago rank fourth in the Tulane record book and her 101 career treys with the Green Wave ranks 10th in school history.
Thursday's game marks the 28th meeting between the two teams and Tulane leads in the all-time series, 18-9, including 8-4 at Fogelman Arena. Although the Wave leads the series, UAB has won the last two meetings, including a 51-49 victory last season in Birmingham. TU's last win was a 66-48 win at home during the 2006-07 campaign.
As always, Tim Grubbs will describe play-by-play on WIST AM 690. For tickets to all Tulane home events, please call (504) 861-WAVE (9283), via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or by visiting the TU ticket office inside the James W. Wilson Jr. Center.