Tulane falls to UConn, 67-57

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NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane men’s basketball team took the lead late in the first half but could not hold on, suffering its second straight loss, 67-57, to Connecticut in American Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

Melvin Frazier led three Tulane (11-6, 2-3 AAC) players in double-figures with 16 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go with three rebounds, three assists and as many steals, while Cameron Reynolds added 13 points and six boards. Ray Ona Embo chipped in 12 points and a career-high six rebounds.

Jalen Adams scored a game-high 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting with six assists for UConn (10-7, 3-2 AAC), while Christian Vital contributed 13 points and Josh Carlton added 10 points and six rebounds.

The Green Wave outscored the Huskies, 30-28, in the paint, 15-7 off turnovers and 17-4 on the fast break, but were beaten, 12-4, on second chances and 35-26 on the glass.

Connecticut opened the game with an 11-2 scoring run, before the Wave knocked down its first field goal of the day just shy of the 15-minute mark of the first half on an Ona Embo baseline jumper that cut the margin to seven. After surrendering a basket on the next possession, Tulane scored seven straight points, highlighted by a 3-pointer and floater in the paint by Reynolds to bring the deficit to just a pair, 13-11 with 11:52 remaining.

The Wave took their first lead of the day, 20-19, on a baseline drive and two-handed dunk by Frazier, forcing Connecticut to call timeout with 4:49 left. After tying the game at 22, the Huskies closed the half with an 8-0 run to take an eight point advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Tulane shot 8-for-27 (.296) from the floor, made just two of a one dozen 3-point shots and connected on all four free throw attempts in the first half, while UConn went 12-for-28 (.429) from the field, 4-for-8 (.500) beyond the arc and made two of four free throw shots.

The Green Wave exploded out of the gate to begin the second half, scoring eight of the first 10 points, capped by a 3-pointer and fast break layup by Ona Embo to cut the deficit to just one, 31-30, and forcing the Huskies to burn a timeout just 95 seconds into the period.

UConn went on a 12-2 run and scored nine straight points down to the 9:11 mark to create its first double digit lead, 53-41, as Tulane called timeout. The margin would not get back to single digits until a pair of Caleb Daniels free throws with 1:13 left made it 61-53, but a pair of late baskets by Adams and Carlton sealed the 10-point win for the Huskies.

The Green Wave finished the day shooting 22-for-51 (.431) overall, including 14-for-24 (.583) in the second half, while going 4-for-19 (.211) from outside and 9-for-10 (.900) at the free throw line. Connecticut shot 26-for-54 (.481) from the field, 7-for-14 (.500) beyond the 3-point line and 8-for-14 (.571) at the foul stripe.

Tulane remains at home to host Houston on Wednesday, January 17. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNews.

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