The bench has been an asset for the Tulane women’s basketball team this season, and two of those reserves have recently flashed their ability.
In the Green Wave’s 67-63 loss to East Carolina on Saturday, the strength of the bench showed as Courtnie Latham scored a game-high 13 points, all in the second half.
“I thought Courtnie played really aggressive, attacked the basket, really finished.” coach Lisa Stockton said. “We wouldn’t have been in this game without her.”
Chinwe Duru has surged, too, finishing the last two games in double figures. In the past six games, she has averaged 9.3 points and shot 52.5 percent.
The Green Wave could use more outings like that from Latham and Duru when it visits SMU at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
While the Wave (16-5, 7-3 American) still has two games against two-time defending national champion Connecticut, it first must focus on the Mustangs (4-16, 0-9), whom Tulane edged 60-58 on Jan. 17 on a late Leslie Vorphal 3-pointer.
Stockton said her team came out flat in that game.
“SMU was a very close game at our place,” she said. “It’s easier to get a team’s attention when it was a close game the first time. You look at those games you lose, and you do your best to learn from them and move on. Now it’s time to concentrate on a SMU team that’s hungry for its first conference win.”
Tulane has lost two of three as it enters the final month of the regular season.
“This is a crucial time of year because February is a time when some teams struggle,” Stockton said.
SMU’s Destynee Hives-McCray has four double-doubles and is averaging 10 points. Alicia Froling averages a team-high 12 points.