Tulane women’s basketball out in quarterfinals to underdog Cougars

Tulane+women%E2%80%99s+basketball+ended+their+national+championship+aspirations+with+a+shock+loss+to+underdog+Houston+Cougars.+The+Green+Wave+will+now+host+the+Jacksonville+State+Gamecocks+in+the+Women%E2%80%99s+National+Invitational+Tournament.

Parker Waters

Tulane women’s basketball ended their national championship aspirations with a shock loss to underdog Houston Cougars. The Green Wave will now host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

Zach Brandwein, Staff Reporter

Entering this year’s American Athletic Conference championship, the Tulane women’s basketball team was seeded third, with a record of 20-8. This year was the Green Wave’s first top three appearance in the AAC tournament since joining in July of 2014

Tulane played the sixth-seeded Houston Cougars, who had a record of 15-14 after beating the 11th-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats in the opening round. The Green Wave played Houston twice this season, beating them both times. 

After going down 11-0 to start the game, the Green Wave managed to close the gap, going into halftime down by 3. Houston jumped out to an early lead in the second half, going on a 16-3 run in the opening minutes. Again, the Green Wave claw backed their way back and cut the lead to two points, 53-51, after a big 3-pointer by Sierra Cheatham. However, Tulane committed crucial fouls allowing the Cougars to lead by 8, and put the game out of reach. The Cougars went on to win 65-57.

Despite the loss, Tulane played remarkably well. As a team, the Green Wave led the AAC in scoring, assists and offensive rebounds. They were third in the conference in both field goal and free throw percentages and also in scoring margin. 

Tulane players combined for 21 double doubles, only trailing University of South Florida’s 23. Redshirt Senior Krystal Freeman logged nine double-doubles and was the sixth player in program history to be named to all conference honors in three straight seasons. Freeman was also sixth in the conference in rebounding, averaging 7.59 per game

Another Redshirt Senior, Moon Ursin, had the second-most double-doubles in the conference, which included a triple double against the Troy Trojans. Ursin was sixth in the conference in scoring and third for rebounding.

Tulane will compete in the National Invitational Tournament as an automatic qualifier from the AAC. They will host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on March 17 at 6:30 p.m. local time at the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse. Tulane won the only matchup between these two teams, when the Green Wave won 54-51 on Nov. 23, 2004.