Bates fuels late comeback to push Tulane past Cincinnati, 61-59

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Tulane basketball
(Photo: Parker Waters)

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University women’s basketball team used five-straight points from junior Salma Bates in the final minutes to defeat Cincinnati, 61-59, Sunday at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

Tulane (12-5, 8-4) out-rebounded Cincinnati (3-12, 2-9) 36-35, while also outscoring the Bearcats 36-22 in the paint. Tulane logged 11 assists and 11 steals and forced Cincinnati into 18 turnovers. The Green Wave capitalized on the change of possession with 21 points off turnovers. Cincinnati held a slight edge in shooting logging a .404 shooting percentage, while the Olive and Blue shot 38.2 percent from the field.

After senior Arsula Clark hit a layup to start the fourth quarter for the Green Wave, Cincinnati went on a 9-1 run to cut Tulane’s lead to 51-50 with six minutes left in the game. Clark hit a contested layup for the Green Wave to stop the run. After trading buckets, Cincinnati’s IImar’I Thomas scored five consecutive points for the Bearcats and gave UC a 57-55 lead over Tulane with 3:15 left in the game.

Freshman JerKaila Jordan knocked down a free throw for the Green Wave then Cincinnati responded with a layup to take a three-point lead. On the ensuing possession, sophomore Salma Bates knocked down a three from the wing to tie the game at 59 with 1:46 to play. Bates then forced a Cincinnati turnover and went coast-to-coast for a layup to put the Olive and Blue up 61-59 with a minute left.

Bates grabbed a steal on the next Cincinnati possession, but the Green Wave were unable to capitalize. The Bearcats got the ball back with 0.4 seconds left and called a timeout to advance the ball. Redshirt sophomore Dene’ Mimms tipped the inbounds pass from the Bearcats to force the time to run out and give Tulane the 61-59 win.

“We got stops at the end, which I felt were really important,” Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. “They were able to go on a little bit of a run where they were hitting outside shots and Thomas was being really aggressive inside, so stops were key. This is two games in a row where I don’t think we shot our best. I thought Salma [Bates] did a really good job of sharing the ball and got our offense going.”

Jordan led Tulane with 14 points and a career-high six steals. Clark added 13 points and two rebounds, while Bates finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Junior Mia Heide grabbed a game-high seven rebounds and added six points and two assists for the Green Wave.

After trading buckets to start the game, the Green Wave used a 9-2 run to grab a 12-7 lead over the Bearcats. Tulane was able to maintain that lead until Cincinnati closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to cut the Green Wave’s advantage to 19-17 headed into the second period.

The Olive and Blue stepped up on the defensive end in the second quarter holding the Bearcats scoreless for the final 5:51. Cincinnati only scored three points in the entire quarter, as the Green Wave outscored them 15-3.

Jordan led the Green Wave with nine points in the opening 20 minutes. She also grabbed a team-high three boards. Clark and Heide added seven and six points, respectively, in the first half. Tulane scored 11 points off eight Cincinnati turnovers in the first half.

Both teams traded blows to start the third quarter with neither team making more than a 5-0 run in the first five minutes. The Bearcats cut the lead to 44-36 with four minutes to play then Jordan forced two straight turnovers and helped the Green Wave turn them into four points and extend the lead back to 12. Cincinnati responded with a 6-0 run after a timeout to bring the Tulane lead back to 48-41 headed into the fourth quarter.

Up next, the Green Wave will continue the homestand as they welcome Tulsa to Fogelman in Devlin on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.

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