Tulane fights, fails 80-40 to No. 1 UConn

Samantha Shafia, Associate Sports Editor

Though the Green Wave showed a dominant first quarter at UConn, Tulane was no match for the women’s basketball powerhouse as the Wave lost 80-40 Saturday in Storrs, Connecticut.

Tulane got an explosive start to the game, shooting ahead of the Huskies 13-2, UConn’s largest deficit all season. Sophomore guard Kolby Morgan made the first shot of the game and got the ball rolling for Tulane offensively. Tulane’s shifting defense continued to throw UConn off its offensive game throughout the first quarter. At the end of the quarter, UConn had not scored from the field at all and only scored due to a foul. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 13-8 Tulane.

“I felt like the first quarter was going to be huge for us if we could start out with a little confidence,” head coach Lisa Stockton said. “We were scoring and playing defense and I was very proud of their effort. I thought there was a lot of contact and we had quite a few fouls go against us but it was good to see our kids play so well early on.”

Once the second quarter started, however, the Huskies stepped up the defensive game and swiped the ball away from Tulane on multiple accounts. In true UConn fashion, the team quickly closed the point gap and surged ahead to 36-20 at half as its offense and defense clicked together.

The rest of the game continued in the same manner manner as UConn freshman guard Katie Lou Samuelson and senior forward Breanna Stewart dominated the scoreboard. Samuelson scored 21 points and Stewart added 20 points, making up half of the Huskies’ final score.

The Wave did not go to the free-throw line once for the second year in a row at Connecticut. The Huskies picked up just 5 fouls to the Wave’s 17, and UConn added 18 points to the board from the free-throw line.

Though the Huskies dominated the Wave again, Tulane improved its losing deficit from the last game by 18 points. More impressively though, the Wave held UConn to its lowest shooting percentage of the season at 39.4 percent.

Tulane closes out its regular season at home Monday, taking on the Cincinnati Bearcats at 7 p.m. Feb. 29 in Devlin Fieldhouse.