Tulane’s women’s basketball team took control with its defense in the first half against North Carolina-Greensboro on Sunday in the Tulane Classic.
The Green Wave finished off the Spartans with their shooting in the second half in a 74-53 win.
The Green Wave (8-3) held the Spartans (5-7) to 34.6 percent shooting, including 26.7 in the first half. Tulane shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) in the second half as it broke UNCG’s press for baskets and scored in transition.
“Once again we shot the ball pretty well, and it was good to see us outrebound them (40-32),” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “Especially in the first half, we changed defenses quite a bit and were able to do some traps and things like that. I thought we were really sharp.”
Led by center Chinwe Duru’s season-high 16 points and point guard Leslie Vorpahl’s 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, the victory was Tulane’s fifth in a row and lifted its home record to 6-0.
The Wave will play in Monday’s 5 p.m. championship game against Saint Louis, which defeated Cleveland State 76-65 in Sunday’s first game. UNC-Greensboro and Cleveland State will play at 3 p.m. Monday in the consolation game.
Tulane led 36-19 at halftime after taking control midway of the second quarter. It held UNCG scoreless for four minutes, 48 seconds in going on an 8-0 run for a 28-16 lead.
After UNCG guard Lucy Mason made a three-point play at 3:10 to end the drought, Tulane held the Spartans scoreless the rest of the quarter in going on another 8-0 run.
“We basically folded against their pressure and got away from the game plan,” Spartans coach Wendy Palmer said. “We tried to make a run at them, but they adjusted to our press.”
Guard Kolby Morgan, who played at the top of the Wave’s 1-3-1 half-court defense, had five first-half steals. Vorpahl had Tulane’s other three steals in the half.
After the Spartans scored six consecutive points to come to within 54-43 a minute into the fourth quarter, the Wave pulled away, easily breaking the press for baskets.
In the first game, Saint Louis (9-1) began the third quarter with a 10-0 run in building a 43-25 lead, then withstood Cleveland State (3-6) comebacks in the third and fourth quarters.
“Our execution was probably the best it’s been all season,” Saint Louis coach Lisa Stone said.
Cleveland State had a chance to come to 59-52 at 5:23 in the fourth, but Saint Louis guard Jamesia Price drew a charging foul on a drive by Cleveland State’s Adesuwa Aideyman, negating a made basket. Center Sadie Stipanovich then scored Saint Louis’ next seven points in the low post, producing a 66-54 margin with 2:50 remaining.