In rematch of senior day matchup, Wave falls to Tulsa 66-60
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Lightning does not strike twice, or at least it didn’t for No. 10 Tulane men’s basketball (6-25, 3-15 American Athletic Conference) on Thursday when it lost 66-60 in the first round of the AAC tournament in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Green Wave entered the game as the underdog despite having just beaten the Golden Hurricane in its final regular-season game on March 5. Redshirt junior guard Cameron Reynolds posted a career-high 31 points to give the Wave a 81-69 win.
During the first half of the game, Tulsa took the early 13-4 lead after hitting five of its first seven field goals within the first five minutes. From there, the half turned into a back-and-forth between Tulane and Tulsa as the Wave would cut the lead, only to have the Golden Hurricane extend it again.
When there were only nine minutes left in the half, both teams locked down their defensive play. The Wave kept the Golden Hurricane offense at bay, allowing no field goals in the final 12:27 of the half, but still entered the locker room facing a 26-23 deficit.
The second half saw Tulane break its 14-minute scoring drought with a Reynolds jumper to bring the score within one. Tulsa would respond, however, with a 6-0 scoring run to make the score 34-27. Tulane came back again after four straight points from sophomore guard Melvin Frazier, bringing the score once again within three points making it 42-39 with 12:22 to play.
A 7-0 run by the Wave, started by a layup from sophomore forward Paul Blake, gave Tulane its first lead of the night with nine minutes remaining.
The lead would not last long. Tulsa fired back with a offensive flurry to reinstating its lead by nine points, as the Golden Hurricane entered the game’s final five minutes at 60-51. Tulane changed its focus to buckling down defensively and getting key stops, but it was not enough. Even after a pair of Reynolds free-throws decreased the point deficit, Tusla walked away with the win.
For the Wave, Reynolds led the night in both points, 17, and rebounds, 8. Frazier, Blake and senior guard Malik Morgan finished the night scoring in the double-digits, 13, 11 and 10 respectively.
Overall, Tulane finished its final game of the season 19-50 on field goals and 6-19 on 3-point attempts. The Wave scored 19 points off of turnovers and 13 points on second-chance attempts.
Tulsa will move on to the quarterfinals to face No. 2 University of Cincinnati (27-4, 16-2 AAC) for the opportunity to move onto the semifinals of the AAC championship tournament.