With a win against a rival already secured, the Tulane women’s basketball team will face an N.C. State squad Monday that is enjoying a successful start of its own.
Tulane (3-0) enters the 5 p.m. game in Devlin Fieldhouse after posting a 51-45 win at LSU on Wednesday, a victory that senior guard Jamie Kaplan said certainly will provide a boost.
“It gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” she said. “I think we all knew we had a solid team this year. Going up in Baton Rouge, beating them, I think it just gives everybody an extra edge. I think we know we can do something really special this year.”
Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said the win will be helpful as her Wave faces the more difficult teams on its schedule.
“I was really happy with the way we were able to pull it out in the last three minutes of the game and just really be able to execute,” she said. “I think that does give you confidence. Our next two opponents (N.C. State and Western Kentucky) might be two of the tougher teams on our schedule. We’re going to have to play very well against them in order to beat them.”
N.C. State is 4-0, having won its previous two games against in-state foes Charlotte and High Point. Sophomore guard Miah Spencer leads the Wolfpack at 16.8 points per game, while Dominique Wilson is at 15.3 and Carlee Schuhmacher 12.3. They account for 55.5 percent of the team’s field goal attempts.
“Anytime you play an ACC team, you’re expecting a really good game,” Stockton said. “It’s going to be very physical. It was very physical last year (in a 69-55 N.C. State win in Raleigh). I think one of the big factors last year was their size and their rebounding really made a difference for them.”
Tulane is allowing 49 points per game and forcing 25 turnovers. Freshman Kolby Morgan leads the way at 13.7 points per game. Danielle Blagg is averaging 11.3, and Tierra Jones is averaging 9.0. Tiffany Dale is averaging 7.3 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds.
Even though N.C. State prevailed last year, Stockton is optimistic about her team posing more of a challenge this time around.
“Hopefully, that’s something we’re ready to step up and challenge a little bit,” she said. ”Obviously, being home is nicer than being on the road. I think they’re a very good opponent. We’re going to really see what we’re made of after that game.”