The Cincinnati women's basketball team came to Fogelman Arena looking to avenge an overtime loss to Tulane.
However, the Green Wave had uncharacteristically balanced scoring as well as a solid defensive performance in turning back the Bearcats 62-51 Wednesday in an American Athletic Conference game.
“I was happy to see our team share the ball and be able to finish,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “That's something we've struggled with. We shot a good percentage because we took the best shots out there. And I thought our defense was really, really good except for giving up offensive rebounds (16).”
Power forward Meredith Schulte scored 14 points, and guard Kolby Morgan 12, and five Tulane players scored at least eight.
“Kolby and Leslie have been putting up a lot of points, and the rest of us knew we needed to score,” said Schulte, who made all seven of her shots.
With No. 1-ranked Connecticut coming Saturday, the victory ended a three-game losing streak, gave Tulane (16-10, 7-6) fourth place in the conference standings and sent Cincinnati (15-10, 6-6) to fifth place. The top teams get a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
Just as impressive was the Wave's defense. Tulane held the Bearkats to 27.6 percent shooting. Cincinnati, the third-best 3-point shooting team in the AAC, made just 4 of 17 (23.5 percent).
Keeping a defender in front and often behind Cincinnati leading scorer Shanice Johnson, the Wave held her to eight points and 2-of-10 shooting.
Tulane went into the fourth quarter leading 48-36. It outscored the Bearkats in each of the first three quarters and was outscored by a point in the fourth.
The Wave shot 54 percent in taking a 31-20 halftime, answering a 6-0 Cincinnati run with an 11-0 burst of its own. The Bearcats led 14-13 two minutes into the second after its run. However, Morgan sank a 3-pointer that started a flurry of 3s, highlighting the burst.
Vorpahl followed with two 3-pointers sandwiched around a layup on the break by 6-foot-5 backup center Ksenija Madzarevic. That gave Tulane a 24-14 lead at 6:05 of the second, prompting a Cincinnati timeout.
The Bearcats came to 24-18 with 5:04 left by getting the ball inside. However, Courtnie Latham sank a jumper, Madzarevic scored low off an out-of-bounds play, and Vorpahl hit another 3 for a 31-18 lead at 1:32.
Tulane held Cincinnati to 9-of-36 shooting (25.0 percent) in the first half, including 1 of 8 on 3s. The main reason was its defense against the Bearcats' top player, Johnson, a 5-11 forward. The Wave played a 2-1-2 zone that focused on Johnson posting at the free-throw line. She shot 1 of 4 in the half, scoring three points.