Women’s hoops emerges as threat in AAC

Jordan Figueredo, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane women’s basketball (13-3, 4-1 AAC) has proven to be a fierce competitor in its inaugural American Athletic Conference season.

Halfway through season, the Green Wave has displayed the ability to score, averaging 65.8 points per game. Tulane is 9-0 in games when it scores 70 or more points, or on the road, as it is 6-0 in road games.

Tulane’s defense is ranked No. 17 nationally and has allowed just 53.9 points per game. Head coach Lisa Stockton has stressed defense and rebounding this season, and its emphasis has been rewarding.

“One of our goals was to keep our intensity up and really have that mentality that we’ve got to lead and not let them get a run,” Stockton said after a 70-40 victory against Houston Dec. 30. “I thought our team did a nice job of not letting down their intensity. Our defense and rebounding was also very good.”

The Wave showed its offensive and defensive prowess in a 76-63 victory against East Carolina Jan. 7. The Wave shot 56.5 percent from the field, and junior center Chinwe Duru paced the Wave with a season-high 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Tulane continued its road game victory streak in a 71-70 victory against Central Florida Tuesday night. Freshman guard Kolby Morgan delivered the game-winning basket with four seconds remaining. 

“[Central Florida] played an excellent game. With as much pressure as [Central Florida] were putting on us, we felt like [Morgan] could get to the basket and she did a super job,” Stockton said.

Morgan finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, a team-high. She also scored 15 or more points for the second straight game. Senior guard Danielle Blagg also finished with a season and team-high 20 points.

Morgan has been the Wave’s leading scorer this season, as she averages 12.5 points per game and plays 27.5 minutes per game. Morgan also has the most steals with a total of 30.

Blagg is averaging 8.7 points per game and leads the team with 18 blocks. Senior forward Tiffany Dale leads Tulane with 6.2 rebounds per game, while Morgan averages 5.3. 

Stockton said the Wave have shown poise and the ability to be a team to beat in the AAC.

“What impressed me the most about this group is they always believe they can win,” Stockton said. “We’re good enough defensively to stop people.”

The Green Wave next plays Southern Methodist Saturday at Devlin Fieldhouse.

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