March 13, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - After a day of practice and serving as spectators courtesy of a first-round bye, the Tulane University women's basketball team will open play in the 2013 Conference USA Championship on Thursday, March 14, when the Green Wave take on host Tulsa at 5 p.m. in the Tulsa Convention Center.
The third-seeded Wave enter the match-up with a 22-7 overall record and finished the regular season tied for second in C-USA with an 11-5 league record. Sixth-seeded Tulsa advanced to Thursday's quarterfinal contest courtesy of a 74-52 opening-round win over No. 11 seed Rice on Wednesday evening.
The Green Wave enter the C-USA Championship averaging 66.8 points, 41.9 rebounds, 16.4 assists, 9.4 steals and 4.4 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 10.5 and 9.7. Sophomore forward Tiffany Dale paces the squad with 6.7 boards per game to go with a team-best 41 blocked shots, Grayson headlines the defense with 56 steals, and sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 126 assists.
Tulane is connecting at a .405 clip from the field, hitting 713-of-1762 shots from the floor, and 149-of-458 tries from beyond the 3-point arc (.325), while allowing opponents to shoot .371 overall (635-of-1710) and .298 from 3-point land (151-of-507). Green Wave foes averaged 59.7 points, 37.3 rebounds, 13.2 assists, 8.6 steals and 2.9 blocks during the 2012-13 regular season.
Thursday's game marks 19th meeting between Tulane and Tulsa on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a 12-6 advantage in the all-time series. Tulane is 11-6 against Tulsa under head coach Lisa Stockton, and all of those games have come since the Golden Hurricane joined Conference USA for the 2005-06 season.
The Green Wave squandered an eight-point second-half lead in Tulsa to fall by a pair of points, but used a mid-game 10-0 run in the home contest to even the series. Bibbins and Grayson averaged double-digit scoring outputs against the Golden Hurricane with respective average of 15.0 0and 12.5. Dale led Tulane with 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game while Grayson, Kaplan and Tyria Snow averaged 3.0 assists per game apiece.
The series with Tulsa dates back to a 49-44 road win on Jan. 6, 1987. Tulane is 6-3 against the Golden Hurricane in Tulsa and had won the previous four head-to-head road matchups between the two teams before the loss earlier this season. The only time Tulane and Tulsa have played each other in the C-USA Championship came in the first-round of the 2009 event in New Orleans when the Green Wave posted a 49-44 win in then-Fogelman Arena.
The C-USA Championship will continue on Friday with a move to the BOK Center for the final two rounds, and the title game is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m. The winner of the conference championship will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Fans can follow all four quarterfinal contests via the Internet on the C-USA Digital Network while Friday's semifinal contests and Saturday's championship game will be televised live nationally on the CBS Sports Network. In addition, live audio streaming is available on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass and live stats will be provided on the web for free courtesy of GameTracker.
2013 CONFERENCE USA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
First Round Wed., March 13 (Tulsa Convention Center)
Game 1: (8) UCF def. (9) Houston - 74-59
Game 2: (5) UTEP def. (12) Marshall - 70-59
Game 3: (6) Tulsa def. (11) Rice - 74-52
Game 4: (10) Southern Miss def. (7) Memphis - 67-58
Quarterfinals Thur., March 14 (Tulsa Convention Center)
Game 5: (1) SMU vs (8) UCF - 11:00 am
Game 6: (4) UAB vs (5) UTEP - 1:30 pm
Game 7: (3) Tulane vs (6) Tulsa - 5:00 pm
Game 8: (2) East Carolina vs (10) S.Miss - 7:30 pm
Semifinals Fri., March 15 (BOK Center)
Game 9: G5 Winner vs G6 Winner - 10:00 am
Game 10: G7 Winner vs G8 Winner - 12:30 pm
(Both Games Televised on CBS Sports Network)
Championship Sat., March 16 (BOK Center)
Game 11: G9 Winner vs G10 Winner - 7:00 pm
(Televised on CBS Sports Network)