With a nine-day break starting Monday, Tulane’s women’s basketball team made quick work of the McNeese State Cowgirls, racing to a 20-point lead in the first quarter on its way to a 74-55 win Sunday at Fogelman Arena.
It was Tulane’s eighth win in row against the Cowgirls (5-2), who came in on a five-game winning streak. Tulane (5-3) won its second consecutive game and breaks for final exams before playing at Ole Miss on Dec. 16.
“I thought we came out really aggressive defensively, probably set the tone for us,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “We just really covered their shooters, they were one-and-done — didn’t get any offensive rebounds in that first five or six minutes.”
The Wave shot 54.2 percent and outrebounded the Cowgirls 40-33 but committed 27 turnovers as things got sloppy with Tulane having big leads and trying to play a lot of players.
“I think a lot of it was our decisions,” Stockton said. “We had about five charges. With such a big lead, we got a little lax.”
Guard Kolby Margon scored 19 points, and center Chinwe Duru had 10 points and six rebounds. Freshman Taylor Emery also had 10 points. Point guard Shakira Harding had seven points on 3-of-3 shooting and three assists.
Shooting 64.3 percent in the first quarter, including 3-of-3 on 3-point attempts, the Wave (5-3) led 22-2 with 1 minute left in the quarter. Tulane was in total control from there, although the Cowgirls made runs in each subsequent quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Stockton had her starters on the bench.
Using zone press defenses and playing more physical, the Cowgirls outscored Tulane 18-17 in the second quarter against the reserves. However, the Wave led 39-22 at halftime, having held McNeese to 8-of-34 shooting, including 1-of-15 on 3-pointers. Tulane shot 57.7 percent in the half, including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers.
With the starters back in to begin the third quarter, the Wave scored the first seven points to push the margin to 24. With Tulane reserves back in, McNeese came to 52-39 with 1:38 showing.
With mainly starters playing to start the fourth, Tulane went on a 12-2 to lead 68-42 with five minutes left.
“In the first quarter, Tulane took us out of what we wanted to do offensively, and we didn’t shoot well,” Cowgirls coach Brook Donald-Williams said. “I thought we played well for three quarters, though.”