The Southern women’s basketball team had five losses coming into Friday’s game at Tulane.
The five losses had come by an average of 36 points per game, all against major-college teams.
There was no reprieve for the Jaguars against at Fogelman Arena. The Green Wave took a 25-point halftime lead on its way to a 77-48 victory.
“We played well the first three quarters, and we shot well for the whole game,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “It was good to see our pressure working a little bit at the beginning of it. I thought we started very strong.”
The Wave (7-3) got its season-high fourth win in a row heading into its Tulane Classic tournament Sunday and Monday. Tulane is 5-0 at home for the second consecutive season.
Playing just 21 minutes, guard Kolby Morgan scored 18 points to lead Tulane, and small forward Courtnie Latham and freshman power forward Harlyn Wyatt each had 12. Guard Skylar O’Bear had 12 to lead Southern, and forward Miaya Crowder added 11.
Coming off a win at Ole Miss on Wednesday, Tulane wasted no time against Southern, shooting 4-of-6 on 3-point attempts in gaining a 23-9 first-quarter lead. The Wave built that into a 44-19 halftime bulge.
“We knew they’d come with pressure, but we didn’t handle it well,” Southern associate head coach Carlos Funchess said. “We have nine new kids playing a tough schedule, so we’re trying to get some continuity and some confidence.”
With its bench playing multiple minutes as expected, Tulane shot 56 percent overall and 57 percent in the first half.
However, the Wave forced the action with its defense. The Wave racheted up its 1-2-2 full-court zone defense in the second quarter, then began trapping more in the third on its way to a 68-28 lead at the quarter’s end. Tulane eased off the pressure off in the fourth quarter, when Southern outscored the Wave 20-9.
Tulane outrebounded the Jaguars 35-24 — the third time in four games it has been able to win a battle in an area of emphasis for Stockton, what with the start of American Athletic Conference play coming in 11 days.
The one-sided win, of course, also afforded more playing time for Green Wave newcomers, most playing in the 15-minute range. No starter played more than point guard Leslie Vorpahl’s 24 minutes.
Tulane will play UNC-Greensboro on Sunday in the first game of its tournament. Cleveland State and Saint Louis also are participating.