Tulane drops road battle at UCF, 68-66
ORLANDO – Sophomore guard Jaylen Forbes scored a team-high 17 points, but it was not enough, as the Tulane University men’s basketball team fell 68-66 at UCF on Saturday at the Addition Financial Arena.
With the loss, Tulane suffered its second straight loss in league play for the first time all season. The loss also dropped the Green Wave to 4-3 in conference action and 7-9 overall.
“We let one slip away today,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “We just could not make timely shots today. Defensively I thought we were really good, but for whatever reason, we just could not make shots. I thought we had them on the ropes, but their shooters made three shots in a row and we just could not respond.”
Joining Forbes in double figures were teammates Kevin Cross and Jalen Cook, as they finished with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
The Green Wave also received another strong effort off the bench from senior DeVon Baker, as he finished with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting. In his last three games, Baker has combined to score 30 points coming off the bench.
Tulane’s defensive effort keyed an impressive second half for the Green Wave, but the team’s shooting effort ultimately led to the loss. Tulane shot 44.1 percent from the field, but were unable to consistently connect from long range, going just 5-of-25 from beyond the arc.
After trailing by three points at the half (31-28), Tulane came out of the locker room with great effort, as it tied the game at 32 with 18:14 remaining. On its next possession, the Green Wave took the lead with 17:45 remaining.
With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Tulane opened up a commanding 13-point advantage and appeared to be in complete control.
Five minutes later, UCF took a one-point lead, as it held the Green Wave scoreless during the stretch.
Tulane bounced back and opened up a four-point advantage thanks to a 3-point play by sophomore R.J. McGee, which gave the Green Wave a 63-59 lead with 2:09 remaining in the game. UCF clamped down defensively over the next two minutes, as it held Tulane without a field goal to secure the win.
• Kevin Cross has now scored in double figures 12 times this season and 26 times in his career.
• With his 17-point effort, Jaylen Forbes has now scored 700 career points. He also scored in double figures for the 12th time this season.
• Forbes made his 38th straight start.
• Tulane’s matchup with UCF marked the 23rd all-time meeting between the two teams.
• Tulane has made at least one 3-point field goal in 242 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.
• Tulane won the turnover battle for the 13th time this season. The Green Wave finished with 12 turnovers compared to UCF’s 14.
• The Green Wave had three-or-more players score in double figures for the 13th time this year
Tulane returns to action on Wednesday (Jan. 26) where it will welcome UCF. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be aired live on ESPNU.
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