Tulane started slowly in its game against rival LSU on Monday night. However, that didn’t last long.
Its momentum building by the quarter, the Green Wave took a commanding lead then held on for a 67-63 victory at Fogelman Arena, beating the Tigers for the fifth time in their past six meetings.
“The second quarter, offensively, we really got in stride,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “Third quarter was our best. That’s when we really got our confidence and made that run.”
Tulane (3-1) won for the second time in three games against teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season, with three more such games coming up in the Paradise Jam Tournament in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
Guard Kolby Morgan had 19 points and was the game’s only double-figure rebounder, with 11. Point guard Leslie Vorpahl scored 16, with 5-11 guard Courtnie Latham getting 14 points and seven rebounds and center Chinwe Duru 10.
Guard Jenna Deemer scored 19 for LSU and forward Akilah Bethel 10.
LSU (3-2), which will participate in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida, saw its three-game winning streak end. The Lady Tigers were outrebounded (37-32) for the first time since their season-opening loss at Wake Forest.
“I think we’ve got to finish off our defense,” LSU coach Nikki Fargas said. “Tulane did a nice job of crashing the boards and giving themselves second and third opportunities. The transition game was in their favor.”
The Wave outscored LSU 38-18 in the second and third quarters combined, including 18-4 in the third.
Tulane took control in the third quarter by holding LSU to 2-of-13 shooting and outrebounding the Lady Tigers 10-7. With its patience on offense and aggressive man-to-man defense paying off, the Wave went into the fourth quarter with a 51-37 lead.
The play of Latham launched the Wave on an 18-4 run that broke the game open.. At the 7:56 of the third quarter, Latham got a rebound and went coast to coast, resulting in one made free throw that gave Tulane a 34-33 lead, its first since 7:34 of the first quarter.
“Coach said play aggressive and be ready, and I hit a couple shots,” Latham said. “Once we got our momentum going, we got relaxed and started finding open people.”
She sank a 3-pointer and two free throws on Tulane’s next two possessions. When Vorpahl sank a wide open 3 with 45 seconds left after several passes, Tulane led by 14.
The Green Wave battled back to tie the score 33-33 at halftime, adjusting to LSU’s zone defenses and intensity by passing more instead of using one-on-one drives. Tulane shot 53.3 perecent in the second quarter in outscoring LSU 20-14.
Duru scored six points in the quarter, but more important began to get baskets inside. Tulane came to 25-19 at 6:55 of the quarter, but a jumper and a long 3-pointer by Deemer kept the Lady Tigers in front, 30-23.
However, freshman Meredith Shulte and Duru scored low, and Morgan had a putback in a 6-2 burst. Tulane ended the half with wo free throws by guard Tene Thompson and a 3-pointer by Vorpahl with 27.3 seconds left that tied the score at 33.
Taking control early, LSU led 19-13 led after the first quarter, shooting 53.8 percent (7-of-13). LSU led by as much as 17-8 with 3:13 showing after a putback by 6-3 forward Ann Jones.