Playing against a Temple team with seven freshmen, including four in the starting lineup, Tulane looked like the more veteran team down the stretch in taking a 69-65 win Wednesday at Fogleman Arena.
Kolby Morgan thwarted double-team attempts in scoring 18 of her 25 points in the second half — nine each in the third and fourth quarters. Morgan also had a team-high seven rebounds.
“We went deeper into our offense and ran about 25 seconds before we got the ball to Kolby,” coach Lisa Stockton said. “I thought getting 40 rebounds and having just 10 turnovers also were big for us.”
Ending a three-game losing American Athletic Conference losing streak in its toughest stretch of the season, the Green Wave (12-12, 4-7) outrebounded Temple (10-13, 2-8) 40-30. Tulane had lost five in a row to the Owls before Wednesday's game.
Power forward Meredith Schulte had 14 points and six rebounds in what Stockton said was her best game of the season. Point guard Kayla Manuirirangi had 11 points, seven assists and just two turnovers in 38 minutes.
Morgan hit a 3-pointer for the first points of the fourth quarter, giving Tulane a 46-44 lead, and the Wave didn't trail again. With Tulane leading by one, guard Tatyana Loften hit a 3-pointer that started a 7-0 run that was a key in the victory. Schulte ended the run with a drive and spin move in the lane that pushed the lead to 57-49 with 5:20 left in the game.
The lead reached 62-52 on two free throws by Morgan with 3:38 left.
The Owls had taken a 44-43 lead into the fourth quarter by outscoring Tulane 8-1 in the last 3:44 of the third.
Tulane battled from a 28-21 deficit in the final 2 minutes, 42 seconds of the second quarter to tie the score 28-28 at halftime. At times seemingly befuddled by the Owls defense, the Wave shot just 4-of-14 in the quarter while Temple shot 7-of-14, with the big damage being done on 4-of-5 3-point shooting.
The Wave's 7-0 run to end the second starters with an offensive rebound and a jumper by Wyatt. Tulane then got a big break when Manuirirangi sank a 3-pointer on the break off a pass from Morgan. Morgan, doubled-teamed and shaded by defenders the whole half, tied the score with 12.4 seconds showing when she was isolated against Owls guard Mykia Jones and sank a jumper.
Tulane led 14-8 after the first quarter, in which it held Temple to 3-of-13 shooting, including 0-of-6 on 3s. However, the Owls went on a 9-0 run in taking a 17-14 lead three minutes into the second. It was after that run that Temple made three 3s in building its seven-point margin.