When the double meaning hit Tulane women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton, she paused. The Green Wave had just beaten Vanderbilt 71-59 Friday at Fogelman Arena.
“I'm really pround of how our team rebounded,” Stockton said. “I guess that's a double quote. I'm glad we rebounded on the boards, and I'm glad we rebounded from two losses.
“It's tough to try to get your team's confidence back against an SEC team after two losses. But I thought it was very well played, and we got a lot of contributions from different players.”
The Green Wave (2-2) were uncharacteristic on the boards, outrebounding Vanderbilt (0-3) 45-33. Junior forward Tene Thompson led with eight, but three outhers had seven.
Senior guard Kolby Morgan led the way with 27 points, and point guard Kayla Manuirirangi scored 11, including three big 3-pointers.
Morgan, who also had seven rebounds, shot 9-of-18, including 3-of-6 on 3-point attempts. She is now five points shy of fifth place on Tulane's career scoring list.
“We knew they would have heavy help-side (defense) when we did drive,” Morgan said. “My teammates found me. We knew the middle would be open, as well. We kind of knew the concept of their defense, and we found the open person.”
The Wave ended the third quarter clinging to a 49-44 lead. However, on Tulane's first two possessions of the fourth, center Harlyn Wyatt got a layup off a drive-and-dish by Morgan, then Morgan drove for a layup, pushing the lead to nine. Vanderbilt came no closer than seven the rest of the way.
“I think we didn't do a very good job of rebounding, and we have to do a better job of knocking down free throws,” Commodores second-year coach Stephanie White said. “And, I thought (Tulane) executed and shot the ball very well. You've always got to find a way to contain Kolby Morgan, and she got loose. You can't let a player like that get open shots. You've got to make her life difficult.”
Tulane led 34-29 at halftime, but could have gone into the break with a more comfortable margin. Two 3-pointers by Manuirirangi in an 8-2 run staked the Wave to a 34-24 lead with 46.7 seconds left in the second quarter. However, Commodores center Bree Horrocks answered with a three-point play 15 seconds later. Then, after Wave freshman Kaila Anderson traveld with 14.2 showing, Vandy freshman guard Chelsie Hall drove for a basket with two seconds left.
It wasn't the first time the Wave squandered a lead when it appeared to be in control. The Wave went on a 13-2 run to take a 17-9 lead at 2:01 of the first quarter. However, Vanderbilt took advantage of Tulane turnovers to go on a 6-0 burst and end the quarter trailing by two.
The Wave had a 24-10 first-half rebounding advantage, including 6-1 offensive. However, Tulane had nine turnovers that led to 13 Vanderbilt points, the key reason for a 7-0 fast-break advantage.