Decisive moments don’t come any more obvious than they did Wednesday night at Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Tulane men’s basketball team went on a 20-0 run and never looked back soon after Alcorn State forward Reginal Johnson was carted off the court with a serious right leg injury at the 13:33 mark of the first half.
The Green Wave then cruised to an 81-65 victory, equaling its win total from all of 2016-17 in coach Mike Dunleavy’s second year.
Tulane is 6-1.
Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound former Louisiana Mr. Basketball from Richwood High in Ouachita Parish, was taken to a local hospital for observation following a long delay when he landed awkwardly along the baseline under the Alcorn basket.
There was not much to see in terms of competitiveness for a long while after that unfortunate incident. Without Johnson, the preseason Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year, the Braves (1-7) were rudderless.
Tulane, which trailed 10-4 early, went ahead 32-11 during a nearly 11-minute stretch when power forward Samir Sehic scored 10, Ray Ona Embo hit a pair of 3-pointers and Alcorn State missed 14 consecutive shots.
The Green Wave found its shooting touch after an uncharacteristic rough time at Georgia State on Sunday. Cameron Reynolds tied his career high with seven treys in 12 attempts, finishing with 28 points, and Tulane went 14 of 31 from long range.
Alcorn made one brief spurt, scoring eight straight points to cut its deficit to 37-24 late in the first half, but the Braves came no closer.
The rout allowed Tulane to play raw freshman big men Bul Ajang (6-foot-10) and Buay Koka (7-foot-0) in the first half, both of them missing their only two shots.
When Dunleavy went back to his normal lineup to start the second half, the Wave pulled away again, leading by as much as 23.
Sehic came off the bench to score 15 for Tulane, hitting his first five shots before missing a 3-pointer. Jordan Cornish had team highs in rebounds (8) and assists (5), including a pretty alley-oop to Melvin Frazier in the first half.
A.J. Mosby led Alcorn State with 19 points.