Lisa Stockton was honored Saturday for her 25 years as Tulane head coach, which includes her achieving 500 victories.
However, it was the Wichita State Shockers who skipped off the court in celebration, defeating the Green Wave 62-44 in an American Athletic Conference game at Fogleman Arena.
The loss was the third in a row for Tulane (13-6, 3-3). Wichita State (8-11) entered the game 0-5 in the AAC. However, it was the Shockers' third consecutive win against no losses vs. the Green Wave.
“We've shot the ball really well this season, but the last three games we just really haven't,” Stockton said. “Wichita State's defense is good, but I think we just haven't been able to score as well and shoot as well and get the ball where we want.”
Tulane was coming off losses at home against No. 2-ranked Connecticut and at South Florida by a combined 69 points. In Saturday's game, the Green Wave shot 29.6 percent (16-of-54). Playing tentatively on offense, Tulane shot just seven free throws, making five.
Wichita State, which has seven freshmen playing roles, outscored Tulane 26-13 in the lane, made 16 of its 20 free thorws and outrebounded the Wave 36-13.
“We've just been playing better and better,” coach Keitha Adams. “We played hard and we played well (Saturday). We're coming along.”
Trailing by six points at halftime, Tulane came to 30-28 at 6:30 of the third quarter on a 3-pointer each by Sierra Cheatham and Kaila Anderson and a putback by Krystal Freeman.
However, the Wave missed three shots under the basket, and the Shockers then went on a 14-0 run to regain total control.
“Offense is all about confidence,” Stockton said. “We missed a few shots, and then we played timid again. We just haven't been able to get the momentum and hold it.”
The Wave was behind 26-20 at halftime, but that was after digging itself out of a 24-9 hole with an 11-0 run in the last four minutes, 20 seconds of the second quarter.
The Green Wave trailed 20-6 at 6:10 of the second, looking tentative on offense, its trapping defense rendered ineffective by Wichita State's ball-handling and player movement.
However, five reserves replaced the starters, and while they didn't fare much better, they at least were aggressive offensively. When the starters returned at the 5:08 mark, the Wave scrapped the trap and went with a full-court, man-to-man defense.
The starters also took a cue from the reserves and shook off the offensive doldrums. After going 3-of-15, including 0-of-6 on 3s, up to the six-minute mark of the second, Tulane shot 6-of-9, including 2-of-3 on 3s the rest of the second quarter.
The Wave trailed 11-4 at the end of the first quarter, tying its lowest quarter of the season.