Tulane secures 101-94 OT win over Cincinnati

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

NEW ORLEANS – Kevin Cross and Jalen Cook scored 27 points each as Tulane took down Cincinnati 101-94 in overtime on Tuesday night.

Cross added 15 rebounds and six assists for the Green Wave (16-7, 9-3 American Athletic Conference). Cook added 14 assists. Jaylen Forbes scored 24 points and shot 6 for 15 (3 for 6 from 3-point range) and 9 of 9 from the free throw line.

Landers Nolley II finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Bearcats (16-9, 7-5). Ody Oguama added 16 points and 13 rebounds for Cincinnati. In addition, David Dejulius finished with 12 points, eight assists and three steals.

Tulane entered halftime down 37-28. Cross paced the team in scoring in the first half with 10 points. Forbes scored 18 second-half points and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.

Tulane scored seven unanswered points to break a tie and lead with 42 seconds left in overtime.

Sasser’s 23 points leads No. 1 Houston past Tulane, 80-60

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

NEW ORLEANS – Once Houston coach Kelvin Sampson asked Marcus Sasser to pass a little less and look for his shot, the No. 1 Cougars were well on their way to turning what looked like a difficult road test into a comfortable victory.

“They were backing off of Marcus and Marcus was passing it, and I was going, `Marcus, shoot,”‘ Sampson said.

Sasser highlighted a 23-point performance with seven 3-pointers, and Houston defeated Tulane 80-60 on Tuesday night for the Cougars’ ninth straight victory.

Sampson “was telling me to do what I do best for the team,” said Sasser, who averages a team-leading 16.6 points per game and was coming off a 31-point night in his previous game against South Florida. “I felt like, first half I was being passive. … I just put my mind on being aggressive and trying to put the ball in the hole. I really just got rolling.”

J’Wan Roberts scored 15 and Jamal Shead added 14 points for Houston (18-1, 6-0 American Athletic Conference), which led for all but a 50-second span in the first half while preventing Tulane (12-6, 5-2) from taking over the top spot in the conference.

Jaylen Forbes scored 23 and Jalen Cook added 15 points for the Wave, which could not get closer than five points in the second half. When Sasser’s 3 with 3:28 made it 73-54, Tulane fans started filing out of an arena, which had been packed and loud for much of the game’s first 30 minutes.

“I saw it,” Sasser said of the fans heading for the exits. “It’s always a good feeling to do that. I feel like that’s kind of the dagger. It’s always good to hit those dagger shots like that.”

Tramon Mark added 12 points for Houston, which shot 55.4% and hit 12 of 24 3-point attempts.

“They are definitely the No. 1 team in the country,” Tulane coach Ron Hunter said of the Cougars. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and they are a talented team.”

Kevin Cross scored 12 for Tulane, which shot 40% and made just 6 of 26 from deep – a steep drop off in offensive production from the 88 points the Green Wave had averaged during its first six conference games.

The Cougars opened the second half with an 8-0 run fueled by Sasser’s 3 and his driving layup to take a 48-32 lead. Houston was still up 53-38 after Sasser’s step-back 3, but the Wave was briefly able to lock in defensively, forcing five straight Cougars misses during an 11-1 run.

“We showed fight,” Forbes said. “We didn’t just lay down to them.”

Forbes’ fourth 3 of the game capped the spurt and pulled Tulane to 54-49 before Houston’s Mark hit a pull-up in transition to stunt the Wave’s momentum and spark a 7-0 Cougars run highlighted by another Sasser 3.

“On the road, going into the game, we know how the crowd’s going to try to involve themselves in the game,” Mark said. “I think we handled it pretty well.”

The Cougars shot 57% in the first half and led by 12 when Shead hit a driving layup in the final minute of the half.

But Tulane ended the half on a high note. Forbes hit a 3 as he was fouled on the left wing with 4 seconds to go and completed the four-point play to pull the Wave to 40-32 at halftime.


Houston: The game represented arguably the Cougars’ toughest test in conference play this season. Not only did the Green Wave come in trying to take over first place in the AAC, but Tulane’s cozy, 4,000-seat Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse was sold out days in advance, packed and loud. But the Cougars looked composed and well rested after not having played for six days. They kept a double-digit lead for much of the night and had a response for every Tulane run.

“I know that when we’re on our stuff, we’re a pretty good team and we’re hard to beat,” Shead said. “J’Wan brought it today, Marcus was electric, Tramon was electric. I didn’t expect (a 20-point win), but I’m happy with it.”

Tulane: The Green Wave might have its best team in years but has now lost 10 straight against Houston. Tulane will get its next shot to break its losing streak against the Cougars on Feb. 22 in Houston.


Houston: Hosts Temple on Sunday.

Tulane: At Tulsa on Saturday night.

Tulane temporarily shuts men’s hoops amid virus outbreak

David Allio/Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS — Tulane is temporarily shutting down its men’s basketball team because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Tulane in a statement released Saturday afternoon said the Green Wave is canceling upcoming games against Texas A&M on Dec. 14 and Grambling State on Dec. 18.

The team also will not hold any meetings or practices during the shutdown. The university did not specify how many players or members of the coaching staff have tested positive for COVID-19 or when the positive tests were performed.

Tulane said the Green Wave expects to play its next game on Dec. 21 at home against New Orleans.

Jarreau gets triple-double, No. 7 Houston tops Tulane in AAC

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

FORT WORTH, Texas — DeJon Jarreau was headed to the locker room after the first triple-double for Houston in almost 30 years when coach Kelvin Sampson echoed what other coaches have been telling him.

They thought the senior guard could get one before he left.

Jarreau finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists, leading the No. 7 Cougars to a 77-52 victory over Tulane in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday night.

It was the first triple-double for the Cougars since Bo Outlaw had 10 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks against Texas A&M on Feb. 17, 1993. The feat was also a first for the American tournament, which is being played for the seventh time.

“The fact that it happens very seldom in college tells you how special the guys are who do get them,” Sampson said. “I’m so happy for him because that’s going to be a memory. His unselfishness, his toughness, those are the things that show in triple-doubles.”

Quentin Grimes scored 15 points and Marcus Sasser added 14 as each connected on four 3-pointers to help the Cougars (22-3) recover from a cold-shooting first half from long range.

Justin Gorham had 11 points and seven rebounds for Houston, which will play the UCF-Memphis winner in the semifinals Saturday night.

Kevin Cross scored 11 points for the 10th-seeded Green Wave (10-13), who stayed with a Top 10 team into the second half after beating seventh-seeded Tulsa 77-70 in the first round.

“I thought the second half they just came out and just wore us down,” coach Ron Hunter said. “We’ve gotten better. The future is bright for these kids. We don’t have enough right now, but we will one day.”

While Houston never trailed, the nation’s third-best team in scoring margin had trouble building a comfortable lead because of 13 misses in its final 15 attempts from 3-point range in the first half, including eight in a row.

The Cougars were 6 of 22 from 3 when Grimes made one for their first 10-point lead at 48-38. On Houston’s next possession, Sasser hit another shot from long range for a 51-40 lead.

Sasser, who was 4 of 8 from 3-point range while Grimes went 4 of 9, later connected for a 60-42 lead with seven minutes remaining as the Cougars outscored the Green Wave 44-23 in the second half.

Grimes and Sasser combined to make five of six from long range in the second half, and Jarreau assisted on the first three.

“I always love to see my teammates score,” said Jarreau, who had nine assists four times previously. “Makes me feel like I score. When I pass the ball and I think it’s a good shot, I’m even yelling to shoot it. I think that gives them confidence as well, alongside their work.”

Jarreau was a rebound shy of a triple-double when he re-entered the game with 4:16 to go. Shortly thereafter, his 10th defensive rebound secured the first triple-double in the conference in two years.

“Even when I thought Houston was struggling early, he made every single play to kind of keep them around until they could blow the game open,” Hunter said. “If he can play this way, I think they’re hard to beat.”


Tulane: The Green Wave wrapped up a seventh straight losing season with a freshman and three sophomores in their starting five. When he took the Tulane job two years ago, Hunter had one losing record in his previous 18 seasons at IUPUI and Georgia State. The first-half showing against the Cougars offers hope that Tulane’s losing run can end in 2021-22.

Houston: The Cougars entered the game leading the nation in field-goal percentage defense at 37% before Tulane made five of six shots to start the game. It didn’t last for the Green Wave. They ended up at 37% for the game. Tulane was 8 of 18 on free throws.


A reporter told Jarreau after the game he had just talked to Outlaw, who wanted to congratulate the New Orleans native. Jarreau responded by saying a member of the coaching staff had been mentioning Outlaw to him.

“They were always kind of reminding me because they thought I was capable,” said Jarreau, who had teammates counting down the rebounds for him in the second half. “Tell him I appreciate it, and I’m happy I was the next one to do it.”


Tulane had two chances in the first half to take what would have been its first lead when trailing by a point. Tylan Pope missed from inside the arc on the first, and R.J. McGee later couldn’t connect on a 3.


Houston is looking for a third straight trip to the American championship game.

NC State, Texas A&M move up in women’s AP Top 25; UConn tops

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

UConn remained the No. 1 team in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll after blowing out its two opponents last week.

The Huskies received 28 of 30 first-place votes on Monday from a media panel after holding St. John’s and Xavier to 32 points apiece in routs.

North Carolina State returned to the No. 2 spot and Texas A&M climbed to third after South Carolina and Louisville – the previous second- and third-ranked teams – lost games. The Wolfpack had a two-week run at No. 2 last month.

It’s the highest ranking for the Aggies (20-1), who received one first-place vote, since the 2008-09 season, when they were third for three weeks. Coach Gary Blair’s team can win the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with victories over Alabama on Thursday and South Carolina on Sunday. The Gamecocks fell to fifth after losing to Tennessee.

Stanford received the remaining first-place vote and moved up to No. 4 in the poll. The Cardinal have a huge Pac-12 showdown against No. 9 Arizona on Monday night.

Louisville dropped to No. 6 after losing at Florida State on Sunday. The Cardinals were followed by Baylor, Maryland, Arizona and UCLA.

The Bruins had an impressive 27-point victory over then-No. 13 Oregon on Friday night but lost to Oregon State by seven on Sunday.

Rutgers entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 25 while Northwestern fell out. The Scarlet Knights have won all five of their games since returning from a five-week pause due to coronavirus issues. They’ve won those games by average of 22.5 points and scored at least 70 in all of them, the first time the school has done that since the 1997-98 season.

The Scarlet Knights play at Michigan State and Penn State this week.

Here are a few other tidbits from the poll.


No. 13 South Florida matched the best start in school history with victories over Tulane and Cincinnati to go 13-1 on the season. The Bulls, however, lost a spot in the poll after 11th-ranked Indiana jumped them with a victory over No. 12 Michigan.


No. 21 Gonzaga saw its 17-game winning streak end with a 61-56 loss Thursday at BYU. The Zags’ previous loss came in overtime against South Dakota State on Dec. 6. The Bulldogs dropped five spots in the latest poll. They close out the regular season at home against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount this week.


South Carolina at Texas A&M, Sunday: The regular-season championship should be on the line when the top two teams in the conference meet Sunday. This game could go a long way in determining a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina, Mississippi State and Tennessee are the only teams to win the regular-season crown since the Aggies entered the conference in 2012.

Mnunga sends No. 12 S. Florida women past Tulane 78-69

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. — Bethy Mununga scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and No. 12 South Florida pulled away from Tulane for a 78-69 victory on Saturday night.

Sydni Harvey scored 16 points and Elena Tsineke 13 for South Florida. The Bulls have won three straight following a stretch of seven postponements and one cancellation due to COVID-19 protocols.

Arsula Clark made a pair of free throws to bring the Green Wave within 69-65 with 2:48 left. But Harvey sank a pair of foul shots and Elisa Pinzan and Mununga made layups in consecutive possessions and the Bulls (13-1, 10-0 American Athletic Conference) were never threatened again.

Tulane led 21-18 after the first quarter, but Shae Leverett scored three layups in four possessions to start the second and the Bulls never trailed again. After a 30-all tie at intermission, Tsineke sank a 3-pointer and South Florida led the rest of the way.

Jerkaila Jordan scored 29 points for Tulane (14-7, 10-6). Clark scored 20 points and made all 12 of her foul shots. Dynah Jones had 12 points.

Tulane made 26 of 29 foul shots.

Tulane heads to Tennessee to face Memphis on Tuesday. South Florida travels to Philadelphia to take on Temple on Wednesday.