Men’s basketball rides momentum while striving for March Madness

Jake Blancher, Associate Sports Editor

Tulane men’s basketball stands at an even .500 through 22 games. Five games remain in the 2021-22 regular season. (Parker Waters)

Since our last update, Tulane Green Wave has played five conference games, finishing with a 3-2 record over the span, improving their in-conference record this season to 8-5. 

Following their huge win over the University of Tulsa, the Green Wave emerged victorious after another matchup against Wichita State with a nearly identical final score as their first matchup, at 67-66. The Shockers were ahead by just one point at the half  but extended their lead to as much as 13 halfway through the second half.

Nonetheless, stellar play by Kevin Cross, who finished the game with a 20-point double-double in only 27 minutes, served as a catalyst for Tulane’s late comeback, in a similar fashion to their first matchup.

Next on the schedule was an away game against the Houston Cougars, currently second in the American Athletic Conference and ranked 14th in the nation, where Tulane ended up losing by 11 points. Their defeat could be largely attributed to their overall poor shooting, going 19/58 from the field, which equates to about a 33% clip.

Three days after the loss to the Cougars, the Green Wave reversed the tide with a 20-point victory over the East Carolina Pirates. Any guesses on who the two leading scorers were? If you said Jaylen Forbes and Jalen Cook, you would be correct, as this time they combined for 11 treys and 45 points

In their next matchup and second game against the Memphis Tigers, Tulane was unable to repeat another upset, falling by a score of 80-69. The return of freshman Jalen Duren, who missed their last matchup due to COVID-19 protocol, proved decisive. The sixth-ranked player nationally in last year’s recruiting class recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds en route to the Tigers victory.

On Saturday while hosting the Temple Owls, the game ended in an electric overtime victory for our Green Wave. Fogelman Arena was rocking with lively Tulane fans, who erupted when Forbes knocked down a clutch game-tying 3 with just 2.1 seconds remaining, to send the game to overtime. With momentum on their side, Tulane cruised to victory, outscoring the Owls 21-12 in the overtime period.

With five conference games left for the regular season, the Green Wave men’s basketball team look to finish strong and secure a high seed within the AAC before traveling to Fort Worth for their four day conference tournament beginning on March 10. The team would just need to stay hot, as a four-game win streak in the conference tournament would secure them an automatic bid in the national March Madness tournament.

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