Tulane’s women’s basketball team has its first American Athletic Conference game at 1 p.m. Sunday at Cincinnati.
While the league is new for the Green Wave, all but Connecticut and Temple are familiar to Tulane coach Lisa Stockton.
“In a league like ours, we know this league,” Stockton said. “We know so many of them. I think anyone can come up and beat you. Eighteen games is a lot. The team that’s mature, the team that stays focused, I think will be there in the end.”
Cincinnati (3-8) has won its past two games. The Bearcats defeated Detroit 70-38 on Tuesday.
While Cincinnati has struggled, Stockton said the Green Wave (9-2) can not overlook them.
“I think we’ve created a very good résumé,” Stockton said. “I think we’ve done a good job in the nonconference (schedule). We have 18 conference games; that’s two more than we had last year. Every one of them is really important. We can’t let any game not matter. I think the maturity of this team so far, if we can continue that, I think we can do well in the league.
“Again starting on the road with a conference opponent, I certainly don’t think you can overlook anybody.”
During Monday’s 65-54 loss to Florida State, Stockton did notice her team’s tenacity, especially on defense.
“What impresses me most about this group, even when (the deficit) was 15, I didn’t see them panic. I didn’t see them quit. I felt like they knew they could get back in it,” Stockton said.
“We’re good enough defensively to stop people. I think it’s just a matter of being able to finish at the other end.”
Freshman Kolby Morgan leads the Green Wave with 13.5 points per game. Both Morgan and Tiffany Dale average of 5 .5 rebounds per game.
Dale has improved her scoring game. She averaged 5.8 points in the six games in November; during five games in December, she has averaged 11.2 points per game, including a season-high 17 points against Florida State.
Cincinnati is led by Ana Owens, who averages 13.3 points and has a 50 percent 3-point shooting percentage. Marley Hill averages 12.7 points and 10.4 rebounds.