ORLANDO, Fla. — The Tulane men’s basketball team held on to knock off seventh-seeded UCF in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament 65-63 Thursday at the Amway Center.
It was the first postseason win for the Green Wave since topping North Texas in the Conference USA tournament in the 2013-14 season.
Senior Louis Dabney led four Tulane players in double figures with 13 points, while A.J. Davis paced the Knights with 20.
Tulane (11-21, 3-15 American) led for nearly the entire second half, but the Knights (12-18, 6-12 American) were able to keep it within two possessions. With 7:07 left in the game, a jumper from A.J. Davis sparked a 10-0 run for UCF, which eventually put them up by six with 4:40 left to play.
Junior Malik Morgan broke up the scoring spree with five straight points. Redshirt sophomore Cameron Reynolds followed with five points to put the Green Wave up, 59-55 with 1:45 left in the game.
The teams traded buckets in the final seconds, and UCF got within one with 19 seconds left, but Reynolds buried a pair of free throws to extend the late lead.
Freshman Von Julien had a big first half for the Green Wave, who led 29-21 at halftime, putting up nine points in the first period.
Despite being out-rebounded 47-34, Tulane outscored the Knights 36-22 in the paint. The Green Wave committed 10 turnovers in the game while forcing UCF into 21 turnovers.
Tulane returns to the Amway Center for round two of the conference tournament on at 7 p.m. Friday against second-seeded Houston.