Tulane struggles on offense in loss to USF

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Freshman Dynah Jones scored 18 points in the loss

NEW ORLEANS – Tulane women’s basketball held USF without a field goal in the final six minutes of the game, but the Green Wave’s shots would not fall either in a tight 50-45 loss to the Bulls at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.

Tulane (14-8, 4-5 American Athletic Conference) shot just 28 percent from the field (21 of 75) in the loss to USF (12-11, 3-6), and that percentage hurt significantly considering the team attempted 19 more field goals than USF.

The Green Wave were excellent on the boards, outrebounding USF 16-12 on the offensive glass and getting 11 second-chance points. Though the Bulls finished with seven more total rebounds than the Green Wave, that was largely due to the attempted shot disparity.

Dynah Jones was the star on offense for Tulane, scoring 18 points on 8 of 15 shooting to lead the team. No other player had double-digit points for Tulane, but Harlyn Wyatt set her season high in rebounding with 11 boards.

Wyatt also got three blocks, putting her at 100 for career to become just the eighth player in team history to reach 100 blocks.

Late in the game, Tulane had its chances to cut USF’s lead and even tie the game, but like they had all night, shots refused to fall.

The Bulls’ Enna Pehadzic made a layup with 6:12 remaining to make it a 45-37 USF lead. That would turn out to be the team’s final field goal of the contest.

A Sierra Cheatham jumper cut the deficit to 45-39 on the Green Wave’s next possession, and Krystal Freeman and Jones had back-to-back baskets after two USF free throws to make it 47-43 with 4:23 left on the clock.

From there, though, neither team sank a field goal until the final minute of the game. Over the next four minutes, USF missed four consecutive shots and had two turnovers, giving Tulane the opportunity it needed to catch up. But in that same span, Tulane missed six consecutive shots, failing to take advantage of the Bulls’ offensive woes.

In the end, USF made three free throws in the final minute while Freeman made one late jumper, giving USF its final 5 point margin of victory.

Tulane shot just 17 percent from the 3-point line during the game, making three of its 18 shots from downtown. But Tulane had a season-low six turnovers, bettering its previous low of 10 against Cal and Cleveland State back in November. That small number of turnovers gave the team many more chances to shoot, and Tulane passed very well to the tune of 16 assists on its 21 made baskets.

Jones had an incredible offensive first half, scoring 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the field. She hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter as part of a personal 8-0 run, and she scored 10 of Tulane’s 12 points in the period. She also had a slashing layup to begin the game, giving Tulane an early 2-0 lead.

But other than Jones, Tulane’s offense could not get shots to fall in the first 20 minutes. The rest of the team shot 15.1 percent (5 of 33) from the field as USF took a 26-22 lead into the break.

Tulane played well in every other category in the first half, out-rebounding the Bulls by 5 and picking up eight assists and just three turnovers. But with the shots rimming out, Tulane began the second half from behind.

During the game, Krystal Freeman recorded nine rebounds, reaching 200 for her career.

Tulane hits the road once again this weekend, heading to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricane at 2 p.m. central.

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