Tulane Women’s Hoops rally comes too late in loss at UCF

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The Tulane women’s basketball team outscored UCF 21-12 in the fourth quarter, but it dug itself too big of a hole in the first three quarters and lost 59-51 at FCE Arena on Wednesday night.

Tulane (9-9, 1-4 American Athletic Conference) struggled shooting and rebounding the ball for the first 30 minutes before making a run late in the game. In the fourth quarter, Tulane went on an 11-1 run late to cut the UCF (12-7, 4-2) lead to just 56-51 with 48 seconds left.

But time ran out on the Green Wave, and UCF made three free throws in the final 48 seconds while Tulane missed its final two shots.

The Green Wave shot 30.6 percent in the game and was outrebounded 46-27. UCF turned 20 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points, and the Tulane offense was unable to catch up after falling behind early.

Kayla Manuirirangi was the top scorer for Tulane, putting up 12 points including three made 3-pointers. Kolby Morgan was close behind her with 11 points but shot 2-14 from the field and 1-10 from behind the arc.

Morgan led the team with five assists, and Harlyn Wyatt had a team-high seven rebounds. Maddison Wells, playing in her home state, had a career-best six rebounds.

During the game, Manuirirangi reached 200 career points and Morgan recorded her 250th assist at Tulane.

The Green Wave got off to a slow start in the first quarter, shooting just 2 of 12 from the field and scoring 8 points. At halftime, the Green Wave trailed 32-20 and were being outrebounded 22-12. UCF got 22 of its 32 points in the paint in the first half and would stretch its lead to as many as 17 points with five minutes left before Tulane went on its run to close the gap.

Tulane returns to Fogelman in Devlin on Sunday to take on Tulsa in a rematch from earlier this month. The Green Wave and Golden Hurricane will tip off at 2 p.m. with the game airing on ESPNU.

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