Jordan scores 29 but Tulane falls at No. 12 USF, 78-69

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TAMPA – The Tulane University women’s basketball team fell at No. 12/15 South Florida, 78-69, on Saturday night.

Freshman JerKaila Jordan set a career-high with 29 points on 11-21 shooting from the floor and 6-7 from the free throw line. This marked the second straight game Jordan has scored at least 28 points. Jordan also had three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block on the game.

Tulane (14-7, 10-6) outshot South Florida (13-1, 11-0) .392-382, but the Bulls grabbed the edge in rebounds at 43-34. The Green Wave went 26-29 from the free throw line. The 26 made free throws were the most made in a game this season for Tulane. The Olive and Blue logged 11 assists and 26 points in the paint on the night. Senior Arsula Clark added 20 points and shot 12-12 from the free throw line. She also grabbed six rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists.

“I thought we played a good game overall,” Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. “I thought our players were locked in and ready for this opportunity. It just got away from us in that fourth quarter. They beat us on the offensive boards and just had so many opportunities. You can’t beat a top 15 team and give up that many offensive boards. I do feel like our team knows that they can compete with them and hopefully we’ll have an opportunity again.”

The Green Wave jumped out to an early 16-11 lead in the first quarter behind nine points from Jordan in the first five minutes of the game. After a 5-0 run from the Green Wave to make it 21-11, USF finished quarter on a 5-0 run of its own. Tulane held a 21-18 lead going into the second quarter. Jordan scored 14 points in the opening period.

The Bulls opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 26-21 lead over the Green Wave. Senior Arsula Clark ended the run with layup off an assist from Jordan with 4:57 left in the quarter. The Green Wave held the Bulls to four points the rest of the half and outscored USF 7-4 down the stretch of the second quarter. The score was tied at 30 going into halftime.

In the first half, Jordan led the way with 19 points on 7-12 shooting from the field. Tulane shot 42.3 percent from the field, while the Bulls were 34.3 percent from floor in the opening 20 minutes. USF held a slight edge in rebounds at 21-20 at the break.

Both sides traded blows to start the second half with USF holding a slight edge at 43-39 at the under five media timeout in the third quarter. Clark put the Green Wave within two with a couple of free throws with 4:42 left in the third.

The Bulls maintained a slight edge until they reeled off six straight points to go up 54-47 with 1:08 left. Tulane scored the last four points of the quarter with Clark hitting a runner in the lane as the buzzer went off to end the third. The Green Wave trailed 54-51 headed into the fourth quarter.

After junior Mia Heide started the fourth quarter with a layup for the Green Wave, USF went on a 9-2 run to grab a 63-55 lead with 6:49 to play. Tulane responded with a 6-2 run behind four free throws from Clark. The Bulls led 65-61 with 4:24 left. The Bulls took control down the stretch and outscored the Green Wave 9-4 to take the 78-69 win.

Bethy Mununga led USF with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Sydni Harvey also added 16 points, while Shae Leverett contributed 10 pionts and nine rebounds for the Bulls.

Up next, the Green Wave will stay on the road as they travel to take on Memphis on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. on Memphis’ campus.

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