Strong November performances show strength of women’s basketball team

Susan Fanelli, Sports Editor [email protected]

As November comes to a close, Tulane women’s basketball (5-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) is poised to be a threat in the conference after a successful first month.

The Green Wave wrapped up its November schedule on Wednesday with an 82-65 win against McNesse State, its last home game before a three game stretch through the first two weeks of December. Junior guard Kolby Morgan led the team with 26 points.

The team’s only loss has come at the hands of No. 6 Mississippi State, a 66-49 away loss on Nov. 16. After falling victim to a 36-16 halftime deficit, senior guard Leslie Vorpahl started a rally after completing her first nine shots. She would finish with 20 points on the night, but the comeback was halted off by the Bulldogs. 

With five victories so far, Tulane women’s basketball has two more than last season’s record through six games. After completing the same number of games last year, the 2015-16 Green Wave basketball team was 3-3.

“I think we’re learning a lot from each game,” Vorpahl said. “We’re seeing some weaknesses against good teams, so hopefully we can just freshen up those little areas and be ready for those next big games.”

The Wave has scored an average of 72.2 points throughout its first six games as it looks ahead towards its four-game December stretch before the 21st Annual Tulane Classic starting Dec. 21. Teams in this stretch include 5-1 Vanderbilt on Dec. 5 and 5-2 North Carolina State on Dec. 17.

“These next five games are going to be tremendous for us,” Vorpahl said before Wednesday’s game versus McNeese. “Obviously we have to do well in conference, but [we need to] look at other conferences and how we compete with other conferences.”

Production has been coming from all players on the bench, with veterans such as Morgan and Vorpahl leading the team in points and assists, respectively, against McNeese.

According to head coach Lisa Stockton, however, the team could not have prevailed without the efforts of the newest players playing key roles on the post. Stockton looks forward to the challenges her team will face against December’s stronger opponents.

“I think we’ve been pretty consistent through this point,” Stockton said. “After Wednesday, I think we will know a lot more about ourselves because we’ve got some [Southeastern Conference] and some [Atlantic Coast Conference] opponents coming up. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to step up.”

Tulane women’s basketball will kick off its December games against Middle Tennessee State at 3 p.m. on Dec. 3 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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