Dec. 8, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's basketball will close out a five-game swing away from the friend confines of Fogelman Arena on Friday, Dec. 9, when the Green Wave travel to Denton, Texas, to take on North Texas at the UNT Coliseum. Tipoff for that game is slated for 7:30 p.m.
The Green Wave enter the weekend 6-2 on the year after going 1-1 at the Cancun Challenge during the Thanksgiving break and splitting a pair of road contests last weekend. Following Friday's game against the Mean Green, Tulane will return to Fogelman for the first time since Nov. 21, when the Wave play host to Southern on Sunday.
"This is a lot easier trip than our last one just because of travel," Tulane head women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton said. "I think it's good for us. I think it's good to go and play these teams that are going to be physical. This is a game where (North Texas is) going to play a little like we do. They're going to really defend. They're going to press full court. This is a good test for us."
Friday's game will be broadcast live on the flagship station of Tulane Athletics, WIST AM 690, and the game will also be carries on the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid member 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 62.0 points, 43.9 rebounds, 15.1 assists, 10.5 steals and 5.0 blocks per game. Junior guard Olivia Grayson leads the team with a 12.1 point-per-game average while freshman guard Danielle Blagg and senior center Brett Benzio follow with marks of 10.0 and 9.3, respectively. Benzio has a team-best 9.5 rebounds per game and paces the squad with 15 blocks. Grayson leads the Wave with 35 assists and 21 steals.
North Texas, meanwhile, enters the weekend 7-2 on the year and coming off consecutive wins over Oregon State (60-53 on Dec. 2), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (72-58 on Dec. 3) and Alabama (69-63 on Dec. 7).
As a team, the Mean Green are averaging 62.6 points, 44.1 rebounds, 9.6 assists, 7.4 steals and 2.9 blocks per game. Tamara Torru leads the team in scoring with 14.0 points per game while Jasmine Godbolt and Brittney Hudson follow with respective averages of 13.1 and 9.1. Godbolt leads the squad with 8.8 rebounds per game while Braylah Blakely has a team-best nine blocks. Laura McCoy leads the team with 20 assists and Hudson does so in steals with 21.
North Texas is hitting 36.6 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 181-of-495 attempts, including a 36-of-121 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.298). The Mean Green defense has allowed opponents to connect at a 35.6 shooting percentage (179-of-503) and a 24.8 clip from 3-point land (32-of-129). North Texas opponents are averaging 55.4 points, 36.4 rebounds, 9.4 assists, 8.8 steals and 3.8 blocks per game.
"I'm very impressed with how well North Texas has played," Stockton said. "They've got a new coach. They've had a lot of talent and just haven't been able to put it all together. I think they've done a tremendous job of doing what they do well. They rebound really well. They create turnovers. It's going to be a tough opponent on the road."
Friday's game marks the third time Tulane and North Texas will meet on the hardwood and the Green Wave hold a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series. Tulane has not played North Texas in its previous 17 seasons under Stockton.
The first time the two teams met came on Dec. 6, 1979, when Tulane earned an 84-44 decision. The Green Wave also defeated the Mean Green 84-68 on Jan. 12, 1981. Both games were played in then-Green Wave Gym (now Fogelman Arena).
Sunday's home game is scheduled to tipoff at 2 p.m. From there, the team will take a break for exam week and return to action on Thursday, Dec. 22, when the Green Wave travel to Cajun Country to take on Louisiana-Lafayette at 2 p.m. at Earl K. Long Gym, before hosting the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic on Dec. 28-29 in Fogelman Arena.
For tickets to those games and future Green Wave home events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office either in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. The Ticket Office located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center on Ben Weiner Drive, is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.