After Tuesday’s 73-34 win against Tulsa, the Tulane women’s basketball team gained extra confidence.
Tulane (15-3, 6-1 American) will play at South Florida (15-4, 6-1) at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Bulls defeated the Green Wave 53-40 on Jan. 4, which is the Green Wave’s sole American Athletic Conference loss.
“I feel good coming off Tulsa. I think we’ve struggled a little bit in those two previous games. But coming off of Tulsa, I feel like our team’s got a lot of confidence,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “We’ll be focused for them. I know our team will be focused and ready. I think they’ve got a really good team, but we‘ve just got to play as aggressively as we did against Tulsa.”
While there were things that went well for Tulane in that previous meeting, the Green Wave finished with a 24.6 field-goal percentage.
“I don’t know that anything has changed. We just really struggled shooting against South Florida. We played very good defense. We did a lot of good things in that game,” Stockton said. “We just missed open shots. We just didn’t shoot well. That’s something that we know you can’t beat a good team if either end of the floor isn’t working for you. I don’t know that we have to do anything dramatically different defensively. We just got to get better shots, better shot selection and hit them.”
South Florida is led by Courtney Williams, who is second in the league with a 19.7 scoring average.
“You’ve got one player that can really rise to a high level in Williams,” Stockton said. “They just don’t make a lot of mistakes. You’ve got to have a really good, executed game to be able to beat them.”
Tulane will have Chinwe Duru back for Sunday’s game. She hurt her shoulder in the Jan. 13 win against Central Florida. Thursday was her first time at full strength during practice.
“Chinwe Duru back just gives us a different inside-outside presence,” Stockton said. “We held her out against SMU and limited her against Tulsa. She went full go today. It’s nice to have her back in that rotation.”
While Tulane still has 10 games in the regular season, including two games against UConn, Stockton said her team’s non-conference schedule, which included three Atlantic Coast and one Southeastern Conference opponents has helped them.
“I think anytime you play good teams, it helps your team get better,” Stockton said. “Obviously, our schedule has been very good. That’s probably brought us to this point. Right now it’s at the critical part of the season, how you finish. We’ve done a great job to this point, but it’s how you finish. “