When the four-team Tulane Classic begins Sunday at Devlin Fieldhouse, it will be a chance for the Green Wave women’s basketball team to have a final tuneup before American Athletic Conference play begins.
Bouyed by an encouraging win at Ole Miss on Wednesday, Tulane (7-3) is on a four-game winning streak after Friday’s rout of Southern.
The Green Wave goes against UNC-Greensboro (5-6) at 5 p.m. in Sunday’s second game, with coach Lisa Stockton looking for more consistency, she said, particularly with intensity and focus.
“We’ve played some good teams; we’ve played different types of teams,” she said. “I don’t think we’ve had 40 minutes of consistency or even 20 minutes of consistency (in a game). I think, when that comes together, this team can be pretty special.”
Saint Louis (8-1) will take on Cleveland State (3-5) in Sunday’s first game. Sunday’s losers meet in Monday’s consolation game, with the winners playing right after for the championship.
After the tournament, the Wave will break for Christmas before opening AAC play Dec. 30 vs. Houston. Tulane was on a nine-day break before playing Ole Miss, and the nonconference schedule yielded some experimenting as Stockton tried to get her team, including six newcomers, ready for league play.
“I just want to see us become better rebounders,” she said. “We’re shooting the ball well. I’d like to see us being consistent at the free-throw line and really develop a rotation that we can count on day in and day out. If we can make some strides with that, I think it would really help us.”
UNCG is coming off an 81-79 win at UNO on Thursday in which guard Lucy Mason scored 28 points, making 17 of 20 free-throw attempts.
The tournament title game seems to point to Tulane vs. Saint Louis. The Billikens, who returned all five starters, began 7-0, and they tied the best nine-game start in program history.
Saint Louis is led by point guard Jackie Kemph, who leads the team in scoring at 14.8 points and is ninth in the nation in assists at 6.7. Center Sadie Stipanovich, 6-foot-3, is the daughter of former NBA center Steve Stipanovich. She’s a good inside scorer who averages 14.5 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds.
Cleveland State has won three of its past four games.