Feb. 23, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's basketball team will look to continue climbing in the Conference USA standings on Thursday, Feb. 24, when the Green Wave travel to Houston, Texas, to take on league foe Rice at the Tudor Fieldhouse. Tipoff for that ballgame is slated for 7 p.m.
The Green Wave head to Houston 18-8 on the year, 7-6 in league play and looking to build on the momentum of a 75-63 Conference USA win over Memphis on Sunday in Fogelman Arena. The win over the Tigers puts Tulane in a tie with Memphis for fourth place in the C-USA standings and the Green Wave are now just two games behind Rice and UCF - who both sport 9-4 marks in league play - for second place.
"We're in fourth place right now," Tulane head women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton said. "We're right there with all the things that happened. We've still got Rice on the schedule and they're in that mix. If we take care of business, I think we can be in good shape. It's just that we have to play well for these next three games."
As a team, Tulane is averaging 71.8 points, 38.5 rebounds, 16.1 assists, 10.2 steals and 5.2 blocks per game. Senior forward Danielle Nunn is one of five players averaging double figures and leads the team with 15.2 points per game. Fellow seniors Tiffany Aidoo and Roshaunda Barnes follow Nunn's lead with respective scoring averages of 12.8 and 12.5. Junior center Brett Benzio paces the squad with 7.4 rebounds per game and has a team-best 65 blocks. Barnes headlines the team with 133 assists and 81 steals.
Tulane is connecting at a .429 clip from the field, hitting 682-of-1590 shots from the floor and 114-of-377 shots from beyond the 3-point arc (.302), while allowing opponents to shoot .387 overall (608-of-1572) and .329 from 3-point land (136-of-414). Green Wave opponents are averaging 64.1 points, 40.3 rebounds, 13.1 assists, 7.7 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.
Rice, meanwhile, enters Thursday's Conference USA showdown 17-10 on the year, 9-4 in C-USA action and riding the crest of a three-game winning streak with victories over Memphis, UTEP and Southern Miss on Feb. 13, Feb. 17 and Feb. 20, respectively.
As a team, the Owls are averaging 64.3 points, 41.0 rebounds, 13.1 assists, 8.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game. Freshman Jessica Kuster is averaging a double-double to date with a team-high 13.4 points and a team-leading 10.8 rebounds per game. Brianna Hypolite is second on the squad with 11.3 points per contest while Megan Elliott is second in rebounding with a mark of 4.4. Kuster leads the Owls with 59 blocks while D'Franz Smart paces the club with 155 assists and 67 steals.
Rice is hitting 38.2 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 607-of-1590 attempts, including a 136-of-440 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.309). The Owls' defense has allowed opponents to tally a 37.9 shooting percentage (643-of-1697) and a .289 clip from 3-point land (114-of-394). Rice's opponents are averaging 61.4 points, 40.6 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 9.3 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.
Thursday's game marks 24rd meeting between Tulane and Rice on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a slight 12-11 advantage in the all-time series.
Tulane is 7-7 against Rice under Stockton, and six of those wins came since the Owls joined Conference USA for the 2005-06 season. Last season, the Green Wave swept a pair of regular-season meetings with Rice, winning 82-60 on Jan. 10 in Fogelman Arena while out-lasting the Owls 81-69 in overtime on Feb. 25 in Houston. Earlier this season, however, Rice defeated Tulane in overtime74-70 on Jan. 27 in Fogelman Arena.
The Green Wave are 6-5 against Rice in Houston, including an 81-69 overtime victory over the Owls last Feb. 25 at Tudor Fieldhouse
The Green Wave return to action on Sunday, Feb. 27, when they close out the home portion of the 2010-11schedule against C-USA rival Tulsa at 2:30 p.m. in Fogelman Arena. The game will mark the final regular-season home game for seniors Aidoo, Barnes, Nunn and forward Brittany Lindsey. The quartet will be honored with a special ceremony prior to the game and fans are invited to attend a post-game reception honoring the seniors in the 1834 Club, which is located on the second floor of the Lavin-Bernick Center next to Fogelman Arena.
Tickets to 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.