Tulane women get past Miami _lowres

Advocate file photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Tulane women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton

Tulane’s women’s basketball has been getting respect nationally, receiving a vote in the Nov. 25 USA Today/Coaches top 25.

The last time Tulane got votes in a national poll was in November 2010. That year, the Wave finished 23-11 and went to the second round of the WNIT.

“I think it’s important to our players to feel like they’re noticed nationally,” coach Lisa Stockton said. “But as far as what it means in the big picture, I don’t know that it means anything. I think it’s nice you have respect. For our seniors, I think it’s nice just because they feel like they’re playing on a little more of a national stage. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter until the end of the season.”

Tulane (5-1) now turns its attention to Southland Conference foe Nicholls State (2-2), which visits Devlin Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Emani White leads the Colonels with an average of 15.3 points per game. Jenny Nash follows with 14.3. Nicholls has made 76.3 of its shots from the free-throw line while amassing 37 rebounds per game.

“I think we’ve played some good basketball,” Stockton said. “I’m glad to see people have noticed that. There’s been some really good things in these first six games.”

One of those positives has been freshman Kolby Morgan, who amassed her first double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the Nov. 29 game against Northern Iowa in the Hofstra Thanksgiving tournament. Morgan has scored in double figures in all six games.

Stockton said Morgan’s performance is one example of different players making contributions.

“She’s been pretty consistent all year,” she said. “I think Kolby’s probably been one of our most consistent players all year. She’s had double figures in every game we’ve had.”

Danielle Blagg is averaging 9.5 points per game, while making 40 percent of her 3-point shots. Jamie Kaplan has a team-high 29 assists. Tiffany Dale is averaging 6.5 rebounds per game.

“We need different contributions from different players. Right now, we’ve been a little inconsistent with that,” Stockton said.

With wins at LSU and against North Carolina State, Stockton said her Tulane squad can continue to make improvements over a 12-day break before playing Samford in the DoubleTree Classic.

“I think the good thing about where we are right now is, I believe there is a lot of room for improvement,” she said. “With that, I think this team can become a very, very good team.”

For Leslie Vorpahl, one lesson was learned in Tulane’s first loss, a 69-64 defeat against Western Kentucky on Nov. 28 in the Hofstra tournament.

“I think it was a fun experience as a whole,” Vorpahl said. “We obviously wanted to go 2-0. I think it taught us not to be complacent, not take every game for granted. It made us realize we need to work every game and stay focused every game no matter the opponent.”