Women’s basketball opens season with 69-53 win over Arkansas-Little Rock

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Lily Siwak, Staff Reporter

The Tulane women’s basketball team (1-0, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) opened up its season on a high note on Friday night with a 69-53 victory against the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans (0-1, 0-0 Sunbelt Conference).

Little Rock was not an easy first non-conference opponent. The Trojans finished the 2014-15 season 29-5 and 18-2 in the Sunbelt Conference. The Trojans made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they were knocked off by Arizona State.

The Green Wave kicked off the season with a strong offensive performance, with three players ending the game with double-digit points. Junior guard Leslie Vorpahl took the lead with 14 points, followed by sophomore guard Kolby Morgan with 12 points and freshman guard Taylor Emery with 11 points. Senior forward Tierra Jones contributed 6 rebounds.

Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton was impressed with the level of intensity the team was able to bring in its first game of the season.

“I think for our first game, against a team as athletic as Little Rock, we did a nice job,” Stockton said. “Defensively, in that first 10 minutes, we did a great job. We had some great shots that just didn’t fall. We broke it open when we got the fast break on them.”

Tulane was able to maintain a strong defense throughout the game, allowing Little Rock a mere four points in the first quarter.

Offensively the Green Wave remained vigorous, peaking in the second quarter with a collected 23 points. Morgan scored 8 of her total 12 points in the second quarter, launching the team to a 38-23 halftime lead.

Tulane’s powerful defense remained present throughout the remainder of the game, leading the team to a victory against Little Rock with the combined effort of the offense.

The strong play and motivation of the players, especially the newcomers, is a promising outlook on the remainder of the season.

“It was great to see the team, especially our rookies, come in against that type of competition and pressure,” Stockton said. “They knew it was a good team but they didn’t get intimidated, especially the young ones going in. We had a lot of people in that first half and I was glad we kept some of the momentum of that half.”

The Green Wave next hosts Jackson State on at 7 p.m Tuesday in Devlin Fieldhouse.