While Tulane’s Danielle Blagg reached a career milestone, she also hit some important shots with less than a minute left.
Blagg hit a 3-pointer with 46 seconds left to cut Samford’s lead to 56-55 in Thursday’s DoubleTree Classic.
Blagg, then Jamie Kaplan, came through with late free throws as Tulane defeated Samford 58-56.
Tulane (8-1) plays Miami (8-2) at 7 p.m. Friday. Samford (5-5) plays UCLA (3-5) in the first game at 5 p.m.
“I’m glad we went down on defense and got that rebound,” Blagg said. “I was able to put those two free throws in. Then, Jamie came up clutch, too, making those last two free throws when she got fouled. It was a good finish, not so much of a great start, but a good finish.”
The senior finished with a game-high 16 points and also scored her 1,000th career point, a feat only 25 other Tulane players have accomplished.
“We were in a hole,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “When they threw that ball in, that three was an amazing shot. It just really put us in a hole. I felt like we really responded very calmly. It was great to see them work together so well and get that done.”
Samford’s Hannah Nuichols and Lydia McGee finished with a team-high 14 points. The Bulldogs finished shooting 41.3 percent from the field, while Tulane had 33.3.
“Overall offensively, we struggled tonight,” Stockton said. “I guess we’ve had a long layover. But we just didn’t really play as aggressively offensively as we have. Even in the first half, being up seven, we weren’t shooting very well.”
While the Green Wave ended the first half with an advantage, they opened the game trailing the Bulldogs and didn’t make their first basket until 3 minutes, 32 seconds elapsed.
Tulane ended the half leading Samford 26-19 with McGee hitting a 3-pointer as time expired.
Neither team did much from behind the 3-point arc as Blagg made the only 3-point shot for Tulane and McGee made two of Samford’s three shots.
With Taylor Reece’s jump shot at the 16:28 mark of the first half, Samford took a 6-0 lead, but Tulane ended the run when Blagg hit a pair of free throws then a basket to cut the lead to 6-4 with 15:49 left.
Blagg scored 1,001 career points with 3:03 left in the half when she hit a jump shot on the lower right near the Samford bench. That basket gave Tulane a 23-14 lead.
Samford started to chip away at Tulane’s lead as Destiny Elliot hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 43-39 with 9:36 left in the second half. Elliot then hit one of two free throws about a minute later to cut the lead to three. Reece then made a basket to cut the lead to 43-42 with 7:37 left.
The Bulldogs took a brief lead when Reece hit a pair of free throws at the 3:33 mark for a 48-47 advantage.
Miami defeated UCLA 74-67 in Thursday’s first game. Adrienne Motley led the Hurricanes with 23 points, while Nirra Fields led the Bruins with 15.