Women's Basketball To Face Conference USA-Leading SMU

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Freshman center Chinwe Duru and the Tulane women's basketball team return to action on Thursday when they travel to Dallas to take on Conference USA-leading SMU at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.
Freshman center Chinwe Duru and the Tulane women's basketball team return to action on Thursday when they travel to Dallas to take on Conference USA-leading SMU at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.

Feb. 27, 2013

Video Interview With Coach Stockton
Tulane Game Notes
SMU Game Notes

NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's basketball team returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 28, when the Green Wave travel to Dallas to take on Conference USA-leading SMU in Moody Coliseum. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Tulane heads to Dallas 20-6 on the year 9-4 in C-USA play and riding the crest of a two-game winning streak after beating UAB and Tulsa last week. The Green Wave are currently in a tie for second place in the league standings and can cut the Mustangs' two-game lead in half with a win. SMU is currently receiving a pair of votes in the most recent ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, and Tulane can exact a bit of revenge after falling the Mustangs in the league opener, 62-56, back on Jan. 10 in Devlin Fieldhouse.

The Last Meeting
January 10, 2013
New Orleans, La.
Women's Basketball Falls To SMU In C-USA Opener, 62-56
Senior guard Olivia Grayson scored a season-high 17 points and added another Green Wave first to her résumé, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's basketball team fell to Conference USA foe SMU, 62-56, in the league opener for both teams on Thursday evening in Devlin Fieldhouse.

"I think it has many significances," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said of the Tulane/SMU rematch. "We hated that it got away from us in the first game of the (C-USA) season and we felt like we did a lot of things that could have changed the outcome of that one. The other thing is it's the No. 1 team in the conference. We have an opportunity, especially this late in the season, and go and play them there. They've had such a tremendous season and we've got to be ready to step up."

Thursday's game will be broadcast live on the flagship station of Tulane basketball, 106.1 The Ticket, and both live audio and video streaming are provided on the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. In addition, live stats are available on-line for free via GameTracker.

As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 66.7 points, 41.5 rebounds, 16.7 assists, 9.7 steals and 4.5 blocks per game. Redshirt-sophomore forward Whitney Bibbins leads the Tulane offense with 12.4 points per game while sophomore guard Danielle Blagg and senior guard Olivia Grayson follow with respective scoring averages of 10.1 and 9.2. Sophomore forward Tiffany Dale paces the squad with 6.8 boards per game to go with a team-best 41 blocked shots, Grayson headlines the defense with 51 steals, and sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 111 assists.



Tulane is connecting at a .407 clip from the field, hitting 634-of-1558 shots from the floor, and 130-of-394 tries from beyond the 3-point arc (.330), while allowing opponents to shoot .368 overall (558-of-1518) and .291 from 3-point land (129-of-443). Green Wave foes are averaging 58.6 points, 37.0 rebounds, 12.8 assists, 8.9 steals and 2.9 blocks so far in 2012-13.

"I think we're very excited about the challenge," Stockton said. "SMU has had a tremendous season and they've played very, very well. We played them the first (conference) game of the season, so it's been quite a while. I think our team is ready to take them on. We've played very well in the last two games and we're getting a lot of production from the bench. This is one of those games that you play basketball for. You want to try and compete with the top teams and we're excited about it."

SMU, meanwhile, enters Thursday's contest 20-6 on the year, 11-2 in Conference USA play and looking to bounce back from a 65-58 loss at Houston on Sunday evening in Hofheinz Pavilion.

As a team, the Mustangs are averaging 69.1 points, 39.8 rebounds, 14.8 assists, 10.6 steals and 3.0 blocks per contest. Keena Mays leads SMU in scoring with a 19.8 point-per-game average while Alisha Filmore and Akil Simpson follow with averages of 12.3 and 10.4, respectively. Simpson paces the squad wtih 8.3 rebounds per game and Filmore headlines the unit with 59 steals. Korina Baker leads the Mustangs with 94 assists and Destynee Hives-McCray sports a team-best 19 blocked shots.

SMU is hitting 40.0 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 635-of-1588 attempts, including a 143-of-388 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.369) while allowing opponents to tally a 38.5 field goal percentage (584-of-1515) with a 25.9 performance from 3-point land (103-of-397). Mustang foes are averaging 60.5 points, 39.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists, 7.9 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.

Thursday's game marks the 29th meeting between Tulane and SMU on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a 15-13 advantage in the all-time series. The Wave are 11-11 against the Mustangs under Stockton, including a 7-9 mark since the Mustangs joined C-USA prior to the 2005-06 season.

The Tulane/SMU series dates back to Jan. 26, 1980, when the Green Wave won the first of three straight head-to-head meetings with a 72-62 decision in Dallas. The Green Wave are 6-8 against SMU when playing in Dallas and have lost their last five head-to-head matchups in Moody Coliseum. The last time Tulane won in Dallas was back on April 14, 2007, when Tulane came away with a 63-58 decision.

"I think SMU has a very good program," Stockton added. "Any time you play a good team like that on their home floor, it's definitely a hard place to win. The games have been very close and very competitive. But once again, I think we're a good road team. We can go on the road and if we can play well, we have a shot."

Following the Tulane/SMU contest, the Green Wave close out the home portion of the 2012-13 regular season on Sunday, March 3, when they play host to Southern Miss. The game against the Golden Eagles will be televised live nationally on the CBS Sports Network, and the senior class of Grayson, Kautsky, Brittany McDonald and Tyria Snow will be honored with a special ceremony.

For tickets to that game, 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.