Dec. 27, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - With Santa Clause packing away his gear after another year of deliveries and Baby New Year a few days away making his famed arrival, another annual event is on tap over the weekend as the Green Wave women's basketball team will host Indiana State, Northeastern and Northwestern the 18th Annual Tulane/DoubleTree Classic in Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Wave open tournament play on Saturday, Dec. 28, with a 1 p.m. showdown against Northeastern while Indiana State and Northwestern are slated to take the court at approximately 3 p.m. The two-day event concludes on Sunday, Dec. 29, with the consolation game at 1 p.m. and the championship contest scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m. Live stats for all four games are available for free on the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com via Gametracker with live audio and video streaming for both Tulane games steamed on-line to paid members of the All-Access Pass.
The Green Wave are 31-3 all-time in the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic, winning the team title from 1996-2002, in 2004 and 2006, and from 2008-12. Tulane won their first 14 DoubleTree Classic contests before falling to Marist in the 2003 opener, 60-46, on Dec. 27. The Wave won the event two of the next five seasons before posting consecutive championships the last five years.
All of Tulane's losses in the DoubleTree Classic have come in the first day as the Green Wave are a perfect 16-0 in day two - 13-0 in championship games and 3-0 in consolation contests.
"I think we've built a great reputation here," Stockton said. "Very few times will you have a corporate partner that stays with you for that long, but it's been a tremendously competitive tournament and I think it's been great basketball. This time of year probably makes it a little more special because there's some time off, and we're excited about it. It's nice to come back after Christmas and know you've got something exciting to get ready for."
Tulane enters the weekend 7-3 on the year and riding the crest of a three-game winning streak which includes a 2-0 showing last week at the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Classic with victories over Virginia (79-72 in overtime on Dec. 20) and Saint Francis (89-678 on Dec. 21).
As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 71.3 points, 42.9 rebounds, 15.2 assists, 8.1 steals and 3.8 blocks per game. Junior guard Danielle Blagg leads three Tulane players with double-figure scoring averages with 15.2 points per game while junior point guard Jamie Kaplan and freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl follow with respective averages of 11.7 adn 11.6. Junior forward Adesuwa Ebomwonyi paces the team with 7.9 rebounds per game and sophomore center Chinwe Duru headlines the defense with 2.0 blocked shots per outing. Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 6.2 assists per game and Vorpahl holds team-high steal honors with 1.4 thefts per contest.
Tulane is connecting at a .419 clip from the field, hitting 239-of-571 shots from the floor, and 55-of-146 tries from beyond the 3-point arc (.377), while allowing opponents to shoot .380 overall (227-of-598) and .313 from 3-point land (56-of-179). Green Wave foes are averaging 62.2 points, 36.5 rebounds, 13.7 assists, 8.1 steals and 2.6 blocks so far in 2013-14.
"I think the trip to Florida was really good for us," Stockton said. "We did some great things there, had some adversity with foul trouble and with different players coming in and out of the game. The players did a great job. They really responded and we played some great basketball the last two games."
Northeastern comes to New Orleans 6-4 on the year and looking to build on the momentum of a 95-76 win at UMass on Dec. 21. As a team, the Huskies are averaging 71.5 points, 36.5 rebounds, 12.4 assists, 9.1 steals and 2.9 blocks per contest.
A'lece Mark leads Northeastern with 18.7 points per game while Jewel Tunstull and Tiffany Montagne follow with scoring averages of 15.1 and 10.9, respectively. Tunstull paces the team with 9.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while Amencie Mercier headlines the squad with 5.2 assists and 2.0 steals per contest.
Northeastern is hitting 42.1 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 262-of-622 attempts, including a 73-of-213 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.343) while allowing opponents to tally a 41.0 field goal percentage (238-of-580) with a 30.7 performance from 3-point land (62-of-202). Huskies' foes are averaging 67.6 points, 38.8 rebounds, 14.3 assists, 5.6 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.
"I'm really impressed with Northeastern," Stockton said. "They're very athletic, they run, they shoot the ball very well, they've got a dominant post player and they'll switch up their defenses on us. We've played a lot of teams similar to them when you look at Auburn and you look at Ole Miss and Saint Francis. It's going to be a great matchup and I think it'll be a good game."
Indiana State enters the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic 4-5 on the year and fresh off a 62-56 win over Butler on Dec. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. Northwestern, meanwhile, comes to town 9-2 on the year and riding the high of a three-game winning streak following a 90-57 win at Loyola (Chicago) on Dec. 14 and home wins over Oral Roberts (84-54 on Dec. 16) and IUPUI (72-61 on Dec. 21).
Of the three visiting teams participating in the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic, the Green Wave have only previously faced Indiana State. In the lone matchup between the Green Wave and the Sycamores, Tulane came away with a 66-55 victory on Dec. 6, 2008, in The Big Easy Classic in Devlin Fieldhouse.
"There's a great basketball reputation with both (Indiana State and Northwestern)," Stockton added. "Obviously, one is a Big 10 school. Indiana State has a great tradition over there and the state of Indiana in synonymous with basketball. It's going to be great. All four games this weekend are going to be very competitive and hopefully we get some people to come out and support us."
Single-game tickets to the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic are available at the Devlin Fieldhouse Ticket Office, which opens one hour prior to each day's contests. Sideline reserved tickets are $10 each while general admission tickets are $5.
The Tulane/DoubleTree Classic contests are the first two of a three-game homestand for the Green Wave, who will close out the non-conference portion of the schedule on Sunday, Jan. 5, against LSU. For tickets to that game, as well as future Tulane athletics events, contact the Tulane Ticket Office. The ticket office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson Jr. Center, and fans can also order tickets on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or by calling (504) 861-WAVE (9283).