Defense played a big role in the Tulane women’s basketball team’s fourth consecutive win Tuesday at Devlin Fieldhouse as the Green Wave defeated Tulsa 73-34.
What helped the Green Wave (15-3, 6-1 American) gain an advantage was its zone-trap defense.
“We play it a lot,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “I thought we did a nice job setting the tempo for our defense early. We were able to score and set up that press and got some steals. Also, I think it made them a little more timid on offense when we trapped them.”
Tulsa (8-10, 3-4) finished the game shooting 25.5 percent from the field.
“When you look at their field-goal percentage, a lot of that was because they were guarded,” Stockton said. “I think our players did a tremendous job of not giving them easy shots.”
Tulane’s Kolby Morgan had a game-high 17 points, while Danielle Blagg shot 4-of-7 from 3-point range and finished with 16 points. Leslie Vorpahl, who made six of her seven field goals, also finished with 16.
“I think just from the get-go, our defense is what got us on that huge lead,” Blagg said. “That’s what definitely got us ahead in the game.”
Mariah Turner led the Golden Hurricane with 12 points, while Ashley Clark had nine.
Vorphal said work in practice has also been important.
“We had two good practices these last couple of days,” she said. “I think it definitely showed today.”
Tulane dominated the first half, shooting 61.5 percent from the field while holding Tulsa to 25.9.
While Tulane jumped out to a 20-7 lead with 12:56 left in the half, Blagg was 3-for-3 from the 3-point arc during that span.
Tulsa had a 2-minute, 23-second scoring drought after Kelsee Grovey’s layup, and that was broken when Turner sank two freethrows with 9:50 left to cut the lead to 27-11.
Tulane took its first 20-point lead on a layup by Kolby Morgan with 2:53 left.
Blagg led all scorers at halftime with 14 points, while Leslie Vorpahl had 10. Turner had a team-high eight points.
The Green Wave took a 52-30 when Jamie Kaplan scored and completed the three-point play with 16:03 left.
“I think the thing I’m happiest about is, I feel like we played loose tonight,” Stockton said. “I thought we had fun tonight. I feel like the last couple of games we’ve been tight, maybe pressing too much.”