On the Road with the Wave

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The Tulane men’s basketball team huddles before its exhibition game against Loyola New Orleans in Nov. 2014.

Max Meyer, Staff Reporter

I had wandered into this arena countless times, but only once before had I walked in as an enemy rather than an ally. As I entered the Fedex Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, I felt like an outsider. I am from Memphis and have always gone in supporting the Memphis teams; however, this time was different. I was wearing green to support the Tulane men’s basketball team.

The Green Wave (7-10, 0-4 American Athletic Conference) faced off against the Memphis Tigers (10-5, 1-1 AAC) on Tuesday, Dec. 29 in a rematch of their first conference meet last year when Tulane pulled off the extremely unlikely upset in Memphis, 74-66. I felt like a stranger in a familiar place as a Tulane supporter for the first time at that game last year. Tulane had high hopes for a repeat of a similar outcome this time around.

Memphis had the hot hand early and took an eight-point lead with 8:46 left in the half.

Redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Reynolds knocked down a wildly important three-point jump shot at the 7:58 mark to commence a late first-half surge of an offensive barrage to put Tulane ahead by two at halftime. Going into the locker room at halftime, the Green Wave looked to put away the Tigers for another upset in Memphis.

Tulane started off the second half looking sharp and extending their lead to six points. Then Tiger standout point guard Ricky Tarrant Jr. struck. Tarrant Jr. is a product of the Tulane basketball program, having transferred from Tulane to Alabama to Memphis. He quieted his old team single-handedly with seven straight points, giving the Tigers the lead. Tulane senior guard Louis Dabney answered Tarrant with a three point jumper of his own.

The teams continued trading baskets until the Tigers pulled away with a string of defensive stops and offensive brilliance. The Green Wave began to weaken as the half progressed. Coarse Memphis fans began to make crude comments and scream obscenities at the Tulane basketball players, many directed at freshman Melvin Frazier, who remained composed and continued to battle. 

While Tulane might not win every game and sometimes things get tough, it is important to remember our pride for the Green Wave and student-athletes for representing the Tulane student body through the things we hold most dear. They give it their all, remain poised and work hard. Even though Tulane fell 77-65, I left knowing that my affinity for Tulane would remain steadfast because of how glad I was to see the men’s basketball team represent our entire student body in such a positive way. Tulane Athletics unites our entire school around one cause and allows us to proudly don the olive and blue, win or lose.