Young players’ strength, consistent play carries women’s basketball

Samantha Shafia, Associate Sports Editor

Whether the team went on a seven-game winning streak or competed in the sweet sixteen, the 2015-16 Women’s Basketball team (23-12; 11-7 American Athletic Conference) competed fervently throughout this season.

The dedication of the young team allowed it to achieve both cohesive and individual greatness throughout its winning season.

Tulane started off its season against some non-conference opponents. From the sound of the first buzzer, the Green Wave showed its tenacity and fervor, winning its first two games. Then from Nov. 28 to Dec. 21, Tulane competed and won six straight games in two tournaments: Paradise Jam and the Tulane Classic.

Due to Tulane’s dedication in the second half of the Tulane Classic championship game against St. Louis, the Wave ended its non-conference play by winning the game (66-58) and the tournament with a 41.5 field goal percentage and a 21.4 3-point field goal percentage. These difficult yet positive experiences outside conference play did not deter the team but gave them confidence for the more arduous competitions against conference opponents.

The other part of the season consisted of AAC play.

Tulane transferred this energy from the non-conference portion of its season into the first game of conference play by defeating Houston (70-48). The team held two different three-game winning streaks over the course of the team’s AAC competition and its losing streaks only lasted for one or two games, two of which were against AAC competitor No.1 UConn. The team ended its conference play 11-7.

“I believe that our consistency throughout the season was a big strength of ours,” head coach Lisa Stockton said.

Due to this desire for greatness and its constant pushing for the win, the Wave went to its second postseason appearance in a row. In the WNIT competition, Tulane advanced to the Sweet 16 level as it defeated both Alabama (53-52) and Georgia Tech (64-61). The Wave’s final postseason run ended against Florida Gulf Coast (73-61).

Individually, the Wave’s two consistent starters, sophomore guard Kolby Morgan and junior guard Leslie Vorpahl, received national recognition for their valiant efforts and impressive numbers.

Over the course of the winning season, both players averaged 33 points per game. Individually, Morgan snagged a total of 164 rebounds and Vorpahl sank 66-165 of her total 3-pointers. Due to these impressive numbers, Morgan earned first-team All-Louisiana and Vorpahl received Honorable Mention.

“We have been really happy to have the younger players on the team who have been a big part [of the team],” Stockton said.

With losing only two valuable players seniors center Chinwe Duru and guard Tierra Jones, next year’s team aims to continue this season’s trends of a winning season and postseason appearance.

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