Tulane men’s basketball starts season with win

Henry Diamond, Staff Reporter

On Nov. 2, Tulane Men’s Basketball hosted Spring Hill College for an exhibition game and the Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers for their season opener in the Avron B. Fogelman Arena. Tulane, still trying to get back into season form and shake off the rust, was able to handily beat Spring Hill 81-53 behind Jaylen Forbes 23 points with six 3-pointers and Sion James’s 14 point and three steals. 

Then it was on to the season opener against University of Maryland Baltimore County. 

From the jump, Tulane played with a strong press and zone defense that caused UMBC to commit multiple early turnovers. Tulane capitalized on its starting five’s ability to all guard multiple positions. It transpired into a hot start for Tulane, going up 14-2 before UMBC called their first timeout of the game. UMBC would not roll over though, cutting the lead to eight by hitting three-consecutive threes, but Kevin Cross Jr. answered back and propelled Tulane to end the half 45-32.

Entering the second half, UMBC came out strong, while Tulane was still trying to find their tempo. UMBC was able to cut it to within five behind Colton Lawrence’s 14 points and Tra’Von Fagan 12, almost completing the comeback. Despite committing seven turnovers and playing a relatively sloppy game, Tulane remained in control with a clutch three from Jadan Coleman midway through the second half. Tulane’s constant pressure and tenacious defense was too much for UMBC to handle, as Tulane was able to find their stride again and pull away to win the game 89-67.

Leading scorers Jaylen Forbes and Kevin Cross Jr. dominated and found endless ways to get to the hoop, both scoring 21, while R.J. McGee backed them up with 16 points going an efficient 7-9 from the field.

Tulane’s impressive performance earned them a standing ovation from their student section. 

Coach Ron Hunter, who was standing the entire game giving directions, showed great communication with his players and coaching staff. Hunter continually fought for his players after missed calls and showed visible frustration when Tulane showed poor shot selection or had turnovers. It’s clear that coach Hunter is respected by his team and they look to him for leadership. 

Next week, Tulane will play McNeese State University on Friday Nov. 11 and Charleston Southern University Nov. 16, both at Tulane’s Avron B. Fogelman Arena.

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