Men’s basketball dominant at home, struggles in Caribbean

Zachary Brandwein, Staff Reporter

Kevin Cross flushes down a slam dunk. (Courtesy of Parker Waters)

So far, the Tulane men’s basketball season can be summarized by looking at their in-game performance: starting out strong but unable to finish opponents off in the second half. After beating University of Maryland – Baltimore County 89-67, the Green Wave continued to dominate at home with statement wins against McNeese State University and Charleston Southern University. 

Against McNeese State, Tulane took the lead with two Sion James free throws with 8:09 left in the first quarter and then forced McNeese State to play from behind for the rest of the game. Junior forward Kevin Cross had 21 points and seven rebounds, while junior forward Collin Holloway led the team with 25 points of his own. 

After comfortably taking the game against McNeese State, the next game against Charleston Southern would be completely different. There were 12 lead changes, and all of them came in the first half. Jalen Cook made his season debut, and he scored 23 points, including a 3-pointer with 2:54 left in the first half, which gave Tulane the final lead of the game. 

Kevin Cross followed his 21-point performance with a 17 point, 10 rebound double-double. Both Sion James and Tylan Pope were two rebounds away from double-doubles of their own. Thanks to the well rounded performance, the Green Wave won 99-79. Similar to the last game, Tulane ran a short bench. Head coach Ron Hunter ran a nine man rotation with seven players logging double-digit minutes. 

Starting from their opening game, the Green Wave have led after the first half in all six of their matchups so far. Luckily, they have been strong enough in the first half most of the time to still win the games, but the Cayman Islands Classic showed the other side of their coin. 

The Green Wave first matched up against Nevada. After the first half, Tulane led 32-29, stifling the Nevada offense to 20% shooting from the field. The second half of the game tells a much different story. Nevada outscored Tulane 46-34, their FG% increasing to 54. With 7:40 left, the game was knotted at 54, but Nevada kept their foot on the gas and closed the game out with a 21-12 run. 

The team was resilient, able to bounce back and win the next night against the University of Rhode Island. This game came down to the wire with Tulane missing two free throws with 16 seconds left to clinch the game. This gave Rhode Island the ball down three, but two missed 3-point attempts allowed Tulane to emerge victorious. 

Although the final score was close, it seemed that Rhode Island was always chasing Tulane. After 7:07 in the first half, Tulane did not surrender their lead until the end of the game. Four players were able to register double-digit points, highlighted by Kevin Cross’ 22 and Forbes’ 17. 

Leave a comment