Even as Tulane's women's basketball team shot just 29 percent in a 29-point loss at South Florida on Sunday, there was forward Meredith Schulte going 5-of-6.
That shouldn't be surprising. Since scoring two points on 1-of-4 shooting at North Carolina State on Dec. 3, Schulte has shot 27-of-41 (65.9 percent) in her past six games and 19-of-27 (70.4) in her past four.
“She should shoot more, shouldn't she?” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “I talked to her a week or two ago and showed her her numbers and how well she's doing offensively. She's got to be ready to be that player for us.”
Heading into Wednesday's American Athletic Conference game at Tulsa (7-7, 1-0), Schulte leads the Green Wave (8-6, 0-1) with a 57.3 percent field-goal percentage — seventh in the AAC — but is averaging just 8.7 points per game. Even during this hot stretch, she's averaged 9.83 in her past six and 9.5 in the past four.
Schulte, a 6-foot junior from Braselton, Georgia, said she's not against being more aggressive and shooting more, but she wants to play the right way.
“We've been moving the ball well and finding the open person, and that's really worked well for us,” she said. “I think we have to continue making sure we find the right person and not forcing up contested shots, whether it's me or someone else. Getting the best shot possible is most important.”
Schulte has become more of key player after averaging 5.3 points on 38.9 percent last season. She started shooting better at the end of the season when she stopped trying to shoot 3-pointers (23.2 percent) and started shooting more from inside the arc.
That has carried over to this season, as she shoots 15- to 18-foot jump shots on the fast break and in the set offense, as well as posting up.
“This year, one, I have more confidence in my mid-range jumper,” she said. “I haven't focused on the 3-point shot this year.”
Schulte remains a versatile scorer, Stockton said. That's something the Green Wave coach would like to use more, she said. Wednesday's game may be a good time to start.
Tulsa usually plays with a lineup of four guards. However, in its AAC-opening win at Wichita State, the Golden Hurricane went with three guards and two post players.
“We don't know what we're going to get from them,” Stockton said. “But, if Meredith has a smaller defender on her, she can post up. If she has someone bigger on her, she can take her way outside.”
Schulte's focus appears to have been more on defense, and that's also where her biggest contribution may have come. She is particularly adept at drawing charges.
“I like drawing charges; it's fun,” she said. “It's a foul on that player (she's guarding), and basically a turnover for them. It's like a two for one.”
The Wave has beaten Tulsa four consecutive times and six of the past seven meetings. After being trounced at South Florida, Schulte said this is a game Tulane has to win. After Wednesday, the Green Wave will play four of its next five games at home.
“If we win this game, it would be really good for our confidence,” Schulte said. “Two games into conference, and we'd be right back where we started. Then, maybe we can really get something going at home.”