Tulane stumbles, drops season opener to Alabama A&M


Louis Dabney shoots a 3 in the 68-67 overtime loss to Alabama A&M. Tulane shot 0 for 11 from the 3-point line in the first half of play.

Susan Fanelli, Staff Reporter

Tulane men’s basketball (0-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) came up short Friday night in overtime to Alabama A&M (1-0, 0-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference), losing its season opener as the Bulldogs pulled the 68-67 upset on Friday in Devlin Fieldhouse.   

A&M fouled senior guard Louis Dabney in the closing seconds of regulation and made both free throws to tie the game at 65. Redshirt junior guard Malik Morgan guaranteed overtime with a last-second steal before Alabama could capitalize again. Tulane could not overcome the difficulty of three starters sitting in foul trouble, however, ultimately losing starting senior forward Jernard Jarreau with 2:27 left to play in regulation. In the end, this difficulty proved to be decisive, despite Alabama A&M also losing its top scorer of the night in junior guard Ladarius Tabb for the same reason in overtime.

“The foul trouble was tough,” head coach Ed Conroy said. “It was tough for our guys to adjust to the way the game was being called. It put us in a position where we had some tough lineups and we didn’t have our stabilizing units.”

The Wave didn’t gain a lead through the first half, making only 27 percent of its shots and going 0-11 from beyond the arch after twenty minutes of gameplay.

“I think that coach made a lot of good calls, we got a lot of open shots,” Dabney said. “It was just real unfortunate that we couldn’t make those shots.”

After scoring 19 points in the first half, the Wave turned around and scored 46 points in the second half.   

Tulane’s offense woke up after the half and began to make up for the painfully cold first half, helped on by seven three-pointers that cut Alabama A&M’s lead. Freshman guard Kain Harris brought a real spark off the bench in the second half, draining three 3-pointers in a row near the midway point of the second to tie the game. Harris finished the night with 13 points and two rebounds.

Each time Tulane began to pull ahead with offensive momentum, the players couldn’t round out the effort on the defensive end of the court.

“We got tentative [in the first half], and made it really hard on ourselves,” Conroy said. “I believe in them. We have to stick together. As people try to pull us apart, we’ve got to be really tough.”

Overall, Tulane finished the night 7-14 on three-point attempts. The Wave had a total of 48 rebounds, seven blocks and 19 turnovers. The lead changed hands eight times over the course of the game.

Jarreau led the Wave with 16 points and also recorded seven rebounds. Harris and sophomore forward Dylan Osetkowski followed with 13 points each. Osetkowski recorded the first double-double of his career with 13 points and 12 rebounds. 

Tulane looks to bounce back from this disappointing loss at 7 p.m. Monday in Devlin Fieldhouse against Drake University, who went 9-22 last year and only won one game on the road.

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