Riptide’s Reflections: Conference crumble

Jeremy Rosen, Sports Editor

(Courtesy of Parker Waters)

Riptide’s Reflections is The Tulane Hullabaloo’s weekly column talking all things Tulane athletics. Join us every Thursday for in-depth coverage, analysis and opinion of the Green Wave. 

Tulane women’s basketball is going through their worst stretch of the season at the worst possible time. After a dominant 10-3 start, the Green Wave have simply not lived up to their own standards in American Athletic Conference play. The team has dropped the ball three-straight times, all against conference opponents with losing records. The team has looked sluggish on the court, and they haven’t been able to put up the strong scoring numbers to keep pace in the AAC.

The Green Wave failed to box out and contain Temple at home, suffering a bitter 59-68 loss. The Owls put up a strong fight despite playing without their third-leading scorer Jasha Clinton, clearly playing with tons of effort and energy. Despite missing a lot of shots, they were able to out-muscle Tulane and grab an astounding 17 offensive rebounds. Those second-chance opportunities added up really quickly, pushing Temple over the edge.

Most of the Green Wave played poorly by their own standards in this match. Marta Galic had an extremely rough shooting night, missing all seven of her 3-point attempts. Dynah Jones struggled tremendously as well, shooting just 1-9 from the field and turning the ball over five times. The one exceptional player against Temple was Kyren Whittington, dropping a season-high 26 points. She shot an impressive 6-8 from behind the arc, making all but one of the team’s 3-pointers in this game.

The Green Wave suffered their worst loss of the season by far against Houston, losing 36-82 in embarrassing fashion to the Cougars. It was a game where anything and everything went wrong for Tulane. They had a horrendous 27 turnovers and gave up 27 points off of just fast break opportunities. The Green Wave missed all 15 of their 3-point attempts and shot an ugly 28.3% from the field. 

While Houston had four players score double-digit points, none of Tulane’s players were able to do so. Kierra Middleton led the way off the bench with 9 points. Whittington was unable to match her career game against Temple, shooting just 4-13 from the field for 8 points. 

The Green Wave attempted to bounce back at home against Cincinnati but were unable to overcome the close matchup and lost 50-53. Tulane had a solid first half against the Bearcats, leading 26-23 going into halftime. However, they gave up 21 points in the third quarter, forcing the team to play from behind through the fourth quarter. 

Tulane was down by 3 points with just 12 seconds left in the game, and Coach Lisa Stockton drew up a play to tie up the game and force overtime. Rachel Hakes got the inbound pass and got the ball to Jones, who then attempted to drive towards the basket and get an and-one bucket. She got double-teamed close to the basket, and the Bearcats forced a miss without fouling, icing the game and preventing the comeback. 

After the game, Coach Stockton shared her team’s frustrations with how they’ve played as of late. She talked about how the team’s offensive struggles came from a lack of confidence, which the team’s recent slump only worsened. Team morale is definitely low, and attitudes will need to change before they slip even further down the AAC standings. 

Even though the Green Wave has a solid overall record at 13-10, their conference record drags them down the standings. Tulane currently sits in eighth place in the AAC with a 3-7 conference record. There are still six conference games left to potentially climb back ahead of the AAC Women’s Basketball Championship on March 6.

The Green Wave will attempt to bounce back on the road tomorrow against Wichita State and then will head south on Sunday to take on Tulsa.

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