Southeastern Louisiana point guard Marlain Veal thought he had an easy layup in the opening minutes against Tulane, but junior center Blake Paul blocked it.
A little later, backcourt mate Keith Charleston tried his luck with Paul. He got rejected, too.
Veal tried again shortly afterward and had the same result, as did Eddy Polanco.
Paul threw his own block party on Monday night as the Green Wave beat the Lions 89-66, leading wire to wire at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Paul tied the school record with eight blocks, racing past his previous career high of four within the first six minutes, reaching seven by halftime and matching Lawrence Nelson’s mark early in the second half before sitting out most of the rest of the way.
Plagued by foul trouble in the past, Paul avoided contact with everything but the ball this time.
“The last few games I was a step behind the play,” he said. “The last few practices I focused on being a step ahead of the defense and trying to block every shot. It helped me in the game.”
Tulane (2-0), which placed six players in double figures in a 102-96 win against LIU Brooklyn on Friday, settled for five this time while maintaining the torrid shooting that has been evident since its exhibition opener against LSU. The Wave went 16 of 26 from the floor in the first half with 11 assists and finished 31 of 52 (59.6 percent).
Junior forward Melvin Frazier, a 27-percent 3-point shooter in his first two seasons, sank 4 of 6 from long range on his way to 25 points, two off his career high.
Crisp ball movement became contagious.
Jordan Cornish made an extra pass to set up one of Frazier’s treys. Frazier fed Paul for a hook shot in the lane. Paul found Ray Ona Embo for a dunk in transition. Freshman Caleb Daniels, a St. Augustine product making his regular-season debut after missing the opener with an injury, whipped a pass to Paul for a layup soon after entering late in the first half.
Southeastern (1-1), which trailed 21-9 eight minutes in, rallied to within five late in the first half, primarily because of Veal, a 5-foot-9 junior point guard from Helen Cox who scored 26 points.
Veal, who poured in 28 points in a loss to Tulane a year ago, scored 14 points during a 12-minute stretch when the Wave’s defensive intensity waned. His free throws 1:48 before halftime cut the deficit to 39-32, and Jabbar Singleton’s foul shots made it 39-34 at the 1:20 mark.
That was it for the Lions.
Frazier hit a contested 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left in the half to make the score 42-34, and Tulane opened the second half with a 16-5 spurt to put the game away.
Frazier, who had a spectacular windmill jam for the second consecutive game in the first half, added to his highlight reel down the stretch. He drove the lane uncontested for a one-handed jam and hit an acrobatic layup to finish a fast break.
He added 10 points and five assists in a dominant all-around performance.
“I felt good,” he said. “Coach got us in the gym shooting shots every day, so I just got out there with confidence and went with it.”
Ona Embo scored 14 for Tulane, with Cameron Reynolds contributing 13 points, Samir Sehic 12 and Paul 10.
Veal was 11 of 21 from the floor, but no one joined him in double figures.
“I think he’s the best player for his size, pound-for-pound, in Division I,” Southeastern coach Jay Ladner said. “He didn’t have much help.”