Tulane drops road game at Tulsa, 72-67

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Krystal Freeman had her sixth double-double in the loss

TULSA, Okla. ā€“ The Tulane women’s basketball team could not overcome 8 straight fourth-quarter points by Tulsa’s Rebecca Lescay at the Reynolds Center on Sunday afternoon, dropping a 72-67 contest to the Golden Hurricane.

With Tulane having some momentum midway through the fourth quarter and trailing just 58-54 after a Tatyana Lofton jumper, Lescay erupted for a 6-0 run in a 60-second span, taking the home team’s lead to double digits at 64-54.

A Krystal Freeman jumper ended that Lescay run, but Lescay answered back with another jumper with 2:06 remaining to provide Tulsa with enough cushion to hold on for the win.

A Kayla Manuirirangi 3-pointer earlier in the quarter brought Tulane within 2 points at 52-50, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Tulsa’s Morgan Brady gave the Hurricane some breathing room before Lescay took over.

The loss for Tulane (14-8, 4-6 American Athletic Conference) broke a six-game winning streak against Tulsa (11-12, 5-5).

Tatyana Lofton tied her career high with 17 points, and Krystal Freeman picked up her sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Kayla Manuirirangi also had her first double-figure scoring game in nearly a month, sinking three 3-pointers and finishing with 11 points. Also having a strong rebounding night was Lofton, who finished one short of her career high with eight.

Freshman Erin Gutierrez led Tulane with six assists, and she and classmate Dynah Jones each had a team-high two steals. Freshman Mia Heide topped the team with two blocks.

Tulane had a very balanced offensive attack with eight different players putting up at least 2 points and Heide tying her career high in scoring with 8. The team also shot much better than it had in recent weeks, making 44 percent of its shots from the field.

But Tulsa took advantage of its chances at the free-throw line better than Tulane could, making 19 of 24 shots (79 percent) from the charity stripe. Tulsa, meanwhile, shot 9 of 16 (56 percent) from the free-throw line.

Tulane turned the ball over and let Tulsa control the boards in the game’s early going, as the Hurricane got out to a 12-8 lead at the first media timeout. Tulsa had seven offensive rebounds out of its eight total rebounds, and Tulane had turned the ball over four times in that first six minutes.

But after the media timeout, Tulane got back into the game and trailed by only three at the start of the second quarter at 15-12. The second quarter saw Tulane take the lead for the first time as Dynah Jones and Kayla Manuirirangi hit back-to-back threes for the Green Wave to give them an 18-15 edge. Mia Heide then came off the bench for some solid minutes as she scored 4 points in the period and had 6 points and three rebounds at halftime.

A 6-2 stretch midway through the second quarter gave Tulane a 28-26 lead, and a Heide jumper and two Lofton free throws made it a 32-29 edge for Tulane at halftime, and the Green Wave actually led on the boards 19-18 at halftime despite trailing in that category early.

Tulsa started the third quarter on fire, though, scoring 10 of the first 12 points to take the lead at 39-34. Lofton scored 5 of Tulane’s next 8 points, putting Tulane back in front 42-41, and Manuirirangi nailed two 3-pointers late in the period to put Tulane up 45-43. But two baskets in the final minute of the quarter including a buzzer-beating jumper by Kayla Moutry gave Tulsa a 47-45 lead heading into the final period.

During the game, Lofton recorded her 100th career rebound.

The Green Wave are back at home for their next game, taking on UCF on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3.

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