Tulane falls in closing seconds to Southeastern Louisiana, 62-61

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NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane men’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 62-61 decision Saturday afternoon to Southeastern Louisiana Saturday afternoon at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

Tulane (2-5) led by 11 points with four minutes to go in the game and appeared to have the game well in hand, but a furious 11-1 run by Southeastern Louisiana (4-4) cut the Green Wave’s advantage to one, 58-57, with 37 seconds remaining in the game.

Both teams would go on to trade free throws, but the Green Wave still held a one-point edge with 27 seconds to go. Tulane would increase its lead to two after redshirt senior guard Jordan Cornish split a pair of free throws to give the Green Wave a 61-59 advantage with 18 ticks left.

Southeastern Louisiana would go on to take a one-point lead after Marlain Veal drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key with two seconds remaining to give the Lions the lead for good. Veal finished the afternoon with a game-high 22 points as he connected on 8-of-16 from the floor.

“Obviously this is a very disappointing loss,” head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. said. “We had a double-digit lead in the second half and that’s something that you want to be able to build on. We just didn’t do a good job playing with the lead down the stretch. We turned the ball over too much and we didn’t make free throws. When you have 17 turnovers in a game that gives them a chance.”

As a team, Tulane outshot Southeastern Louisiana from the field, but the Lions held 30-26 advantage scoring in the paint and had a 12-10 margin in second chance points.

With the loss, Tulane drops to 10-3 all-time against its in-state foe.

Cornish led all Green Wave scorers with 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor. His 18 points marked the fourth time this season he has finished in double-figures.

Tulane also received a strong performance from sophomore guard Caleb Daniels, as he poured in 14 points and scored in double figures for the sixth straight game. Freshman Kevin Zhang chipped in with eight points and pulled down a career-high nine points.

The Green Wave trailed by eight points, 17-9, in the first half with under eight minutes to go until the break, but closed the half on a 22-8 scoring run to take a 31-25 lead into the locker room.

The Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, December 5 as they welcome UT Martin. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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