Clutch free throws by Cook gives Tulane dramatic 67-66 win over Wichita State
NEW ORLEANS – Three clutch free throws by freshman Jalen Cook delivered the Tulane University men’s basketball team a 67-66 comeback victory Saturday over the Wichita State Shockers inside the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.
The one-point victory is the 11th time the Green Wave has had a contest decided by five points or less. The win also handed Tulane its sixth win on the year – the most since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2014-15.
In addition, Tulane’s win handed the Green Wave the season series against Wichita State for the first time since the Shockers joined the the American in 2017-18.
Cook led the attack with 23 points and sophomore Kevin Cross added 20 and 11 rebounds.
Tulane forced the Shockers into 19 turnovers in the contest which is the most it has forced in a league game this season.
Tulane came out hitting on all cylinders to begin the first half as Cook was lighting it up from the field scoring 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. On the other end of the floor, the Green Wave stood tall defending the rim turning away five shots by the Shockers and forcing nine Wichita State turnovers.
The offense stalled in the final two minutes of the half for the Wave as the Shockers closed with a 7-0 run to leave Tulane with a 31-30 halftime deficit.
The momentum carried into the second half for Wichita State as Tulane’s deficit reached as many as 13 points with 10:48 to play. The Green Wave turned up the pressure defensively forcing the Shockers into 10 turnovers to pull within two possessions with under six minutes remaining. Tulane finished the game with 10 unanswered points over the final 3:11 to secure the win.
-Jalen Cook scored in double figures for the 16th time and more than 20 points for the eighth time this season.
-Kevin Cross has now scored double figures in 11 straight contests and notched his third double-double of the year.
-Tulane has made at least one 3-point field goal in 244 consecutive games. The last time the Green Wave failed to do so came on Jan. 16, 2014 at home against Louisiana Tech when they went 0-for-14 from outside.
-The Wave is now 3-3 in contest with today’s starting lineup of Jaylen Forbes, Kevin Cross, Sion James, Jalen Cook and R.J. McGee.
-Tulane has had 11 games decided by five points or less this season. The Green Wave is now 4-7 in those contests.
The Green Wave are now .500 for the year.
Tulane returns to action on Wednesday, as it heads to nationally-ranked Houston. The game will be aired on ESPN+ and will tipoff at 7 p.m.
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