Tulane women hoping days off will be benefit against Ole Miss _lowres

Associated Press file photo by Mark Wallheiser -- Tulane's Kolby Morgan

After Sunday’s game against McNeese State, Tulane’s women’s basketball team will have a nine-day break to concentrate on final exams.

After going 1-2 in the Thanksgiving weekend Paradise Jam tournament, the Green Wave (4-3) has had a week of practice without games to work on things. So, in many ways, McNeese State will represent an exam for coach Lisa Stockton’s team.

“I think beating Virginia in our (Paradise Jam) final game was big for us,” she said. “(Tulane’s players) did a good job of focusing in on that game, and we were able to get it done.

“But we experienced tough competition against teams which play different styles, which is also good.”

Stockton said she was pleased the Wave was outrebounded in the tournament only by Rutgers in the first game. Tulane battled even (34-34) with Wisconsin-Green Bay in the second game and outrebounded physical Virginia. She said the Wave is making progress in that area, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

That may be Tulane’s test against McNeese State (5-1). The Cowgirls boast three sophomore frontcourt players who rebound aggressively, including going to the offensive glass, coach Brook Donald-Williams said.

Forwards Jasmyn Carswell (seven points per game, team-leading eight rebounds) and Frederica Haywood (6.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg) are starters, with Mercedes Rogers (7.2 points, 4.7 rebounds) coming off the bench.

“They give us a big punch,” Donald-Williams said. “Frederica (6-foot-1) is more of a post player. Jasmyn and Mercedes (6 feet) are very athletic at (power forward). All three can score, but in different ways.”

The Cowgirls, who have won their past four games, are led by shooting guard Allison Bagget (14.3 ppg) and point guard Jayln Johnson (10.3 ppg, 4.7 assists per game).

Although McNeese State holds a 13-8 series lead against Tulane, the Wave has won the past seven meetings, including 75-55 last season.

“(Tulane) dominated from tip to end last year,” Donald-Williams said. “They controlled the entire game. They didn’t allow us to get going.”

McNeese State Amber Donnes, who played at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond, was a teammate of Green Wave guard Kolby Morgan with the AAU Angels.