Green Wave enter the midweek matchup 16-4 overall, 5-2 in C-USA play and winners of their last two games
NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University women’s basketball team will look to maintain its hot streak on Thursday, Feb. 7, when the Green Wave play host to Conference USA foe UTEP in Devlin Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Green Wave enter the week 16-4 overall, 5-2 in C-USA play and riding the crest of a two-game winning streak after posting 57-55 and 74-56 road wins over UCF on Jan. 31 and Houston on Feb. 2, respectively. The game against the Miners is the first of two for Tulane during the week as the Wave will play a nationally televised contest at Tulsa on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“There’s no time to rest,” Tulane head women’s basketball coach Lisa Stockton said. “UTEP is playing really well. They’re a team that if you want to finish at the top, you’ve got to take them on. The other one is Tulsa. Tulsa’s really had a lot of close games lately. They’ve lost some, but they’re really playing well. This is a big week for us.”
Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on the flagship radio station of Tulane basketball, The Ticket 106.1 FM, and live audio and video streaming is available on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com to paid members of the All-Access Pass. In addition, live stats will be provided on the web for free via GameTracker.
As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 67.5 points, 41.1 rebounds, 17.3 assists, 9.6 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Redshirt-sophomore forward Whitney Bibbins leads the Tulane offense with 12.7 points per game while sophomore guard Danielle Blagg and senior guard Olivia Grayson follow with respective scoring averages of 10.5 and 8.9. Sophomore forward Tiffany Dale paces the squad with 6.4 boards per game to go with a team-best 30 blocked shots, Grayson headlines the defense with 40 steals, and sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 86 assists.
Tulane is connecting at a .412 clip from the field, hitting 489-of-1188 shots from the floor, and 107-of-307 tries from beyond the 3-point arc (.349), while allowing opponents to shoot .371 overall (436-of-1176) and .288 from 3-point land (98-of-340). Green Wave foes are averaging 59.0 points, 36.8 rebounds, 12.8 assists, 9.4 steals and 3.0 blocks so far in 2012-13.
UTEP, meanwhile, comes to town 17-3 on the year, an identical 5-2 mark in C-USA play and looking to bounce back from an 82-73 loss to SMU on Sunday afternoon in El Paso, Texas.
As a team, the Miners are averaging 67.5 points, 45.3 rebounds, 14.4 assists, 7.7 steals and 2.4 blocks per contest. Kayla Thornton leads UTEP in scoring with 15.4 points per game while Anete Steinberga and Chrishauna Parker follow with averages of 14.0 and 9.9, respectively. Parker has a team-high 9.0 rebounds per outing and headlines the offense with 82 assists. Thornton paces the squad with 35 steals and Destine LaFountain holds high-water marks in blocked shots with 16.
UTEP is hitting 39.0 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 489-of-1254 attempts, including a 95-of-311 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.305) while allowing opponents to tally a 33.7 field goal percentage (388-of-1153) with a 31.1 performance from 3-point land (118-of-380). Miner foes are averaging 56.2 points, 37.0 rebounds, 10.9 assists, 6.9 steals and 2.6 blocks per game.
Thursday’s game marks 17th meeting between Tulane and UTEP on the hardwood, and the Miners hold a 9-7 lead in the all-time series. Tulane is 6-9 against UTEP under Stockton with all of those games coming since the Miners joined Conference USA for the 2005-06 season.
The Tulane/UTEP series dates back to Feb. 15, 1980, when Tulane won an 86-61 contest in then-Fogelman Arena and are 4-4 against the Miners in New Orleans. The Green Wave dropped their last home game against the Miners, however, 65-64 in overtime on Jan. 15, 2012. The loss was the second of four consecutive defeats at the hands of UTEP as the Miners followed that up with an 80-65 regular-season win in El Paso on Feb. 12 and came from behind to claim a 69-65 decision in the 2012 C-USA Championship title game on March 10 at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.
Tulane’s last head-to-head win over UTEP came on Jan. 30, 2011, when the Green Wave capped a three-game winning streak against the Miners with a 69-53 victory in Fogelman Arena.
Following this week’s games against UTEP and Tulsa, the Green Wave will open a two-game homestand on Feb. 14 against Rice in Devlin Fieldhouse. For tickets that game, as well as future Green Wave events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
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