Women’s basketball falls in semifinal round of AAC Championships

Susan Fanelli, Staff Reporter

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Tulane women’s basketball wrapped up its season in Orlando, Florida at the American Athletic Conference Championships this weekend. The team advanced to the semifinals, but was soon defeated.

After beating Memphis (18-12) 70-64 on March 5, Tulane (21-10), ranked fifth in the tournament, moved on to the semifinals to face the undefeated No. 1 seeded UConn. There, the Green Wave lost to the Huskies 82-35.

Tulane’s win against Memphis came two months after its last bout against the Tigers, where the Wave lost by one of their biggest margins of the regular season 83-69.

In last Saturday’s rematch, during a game where Tulane was down 42-34 midway through the third, the team rallied for a 17-7 finish as it outscored Memphis by 4 points in the final quarter.

“I thought we played very well with each other,” junior guard Courtnie Latham said. “It was a game of runs — they’d get a run; we’d get a run. We just stuck together and pulled through, and we were very excited for the win.”

The team made multiple defensive stands as well as an 8-0 run, spurred on by sophomore guard Kolby Morgan’s 23 points and the team shooting 45 percent from the field. This was Morgan’s ninth game of 19 points or above.

“I feel like for the Memphis game, we were a lot more focused than when we played them the first time,” Morgan said.

The semifinals on Sunday pitted Tulane against top seeded UConn (31-0), a team that Tulane had fallen short of twice in the regular season.

Unlike the Memphis game where Tulane came from behind and won, the Wave couldn’t pull out the victory as the team found itself down 50-14 by halftime. The team, particularly the defense, rallied in the final quarter as it outscored UConn 13-10.

“We just have to learn from the loss, just be a cohesive unit and play hard and together in this upcoming tournament,” Latham said.

UConn went on to win the tournament, defeating the University of South Florida 77-51, and will most likely find itself in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

“We’ve got a mixture of some veterans and some rookies and I think this is a great opportunity for this team to get more opportunities to play, especially in the high caliber play of post-season,” head coach Lisa Stockton said. “I’d like to really challenge the team to see how far we can go.”

Tulane women’s basketball will look forward to March 14, Selection Monday, where it will see what the postseason holds for the team.

“We play really well together,” Morgan said. “We get along on and off the court. It’s just a matter of staying together these last few games. I think our thoughts, as a team, is just to finish out strong.”