Danielle Blagg and Leslie Vorpahl each scored 16 points as the Tulane women’s basketball team rallied for a 60-58 win over SMU on Saturday afternoon at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Blagg and Tiffany Dale each had nine rebounds for the Green Wave (14-3, 5-1 American).
Destynee Hives-McCrayy led the Mustangs (4-13, 0-6), with 16 points, while Kiara Perry had had 11.
With 1:25 left in the game, Vorphal sank a 3-pointer that gave the green Wave a 59-58 advantage. She then made one of two free throws with three seconds left.
For Tulane coach Lisa Stockton, enthusiasm was important in the second half.
“I thought we played with a lot more energy in the second half,” she said. “We were more aggressive on offense. Defensively, we just scrapped for some rebounds. I thought in the first half, we were really flat.”
The Mustangs held the lead for most of the first half, leading by eight on two occasions. Hives-McCray had 12 points by halftime, and Perry had 11.
SMU had a slight edge in field-goal percentage, 41.9 percent to Tulane’s 41.7.
With 14 minutes left in the half, SMU’s Keely Froling stole the ball and made a layup on a fast break that tied the game at 5-5.
Hives-McCray sank a pair of free throws to put the Mustangs up by 14-11 with 10:49 left. Froling made two free throws to extend the lead to five with 9:12 left.
After a jump shot by Vorphal, Perry hit two consecutive baskets that gave SMU a 21-13 lead with 7:56 left.
That lead was cut to 23-21 when Vorphal scored with 4:51 left.
In the second half, Tierra Jones made a steal, then a layup on a fast break that cut the lead to 35-31 with 19:50 left.
Tulane continued its scoring surge after a Vorpahl steal when Blagg made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one with 18:08 left.
“It was all about coming out with energy in the first half,” Blagg said. “When we came out and played with better energy, we played our defense. It worked for us.”
Blagg gave Tulane a 41-39 lead, its first lead of the second half, when she made a 3-pointer with 13:37 left in the game.
SMU’s last point was a free throw by Gabrielle Wilkins with 2:38 left that gave the Mustangs a 58-54 lead.
“We just have to learn how to play under pressure situations and finish,” SMU coach Rhonda Rompola said.