Nov. 23, 2012
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -
Senior guard Olivia Grayson scored 10 of her 12 points in the final three minutes and redshirt-sophomore wing Whitney Bibbins added 11 points in her first action since the final game of the 2010-11 season as the Tulane University women's basketball team defeated Bradley, 74-69, in day one of the Hilton Garden Inn Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday evening at the Rolle Activity Center.
The Green Wave trailed by as many as nine in the first half and found themselves trailing by seven at 46-39 with 14:41 left to play in the ballgame. From there, Tulane went on a 10-2 run over the next 2:16 to take a 49-48 lead it would not relinquish.
With the win, Tulane improved to 4-0 on the year for the third straight season and will play for the tournament title against Western Michigan - which defeated host Northern Arizona earlier in the day, 78-67 - on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. (CST). Bradley, meanwhile, fell to 2-3 and will play the Lumberjacks in the consolation game tomorrow at 3:05 p.m.
With Tulane clinging to a two-point edge at 64-62 following a jumper by Bradley's Jenny Smith with 3:12 to go, Grayson took a pass from sophomore guard Jamie Kaplan the next time down the court and nailed a jumper in the lane to push the lead back to four.
The Braves cut the Green Wave advantage to a pair twice down the stretch only to see Grayson answer with a layup and a pair of free throws to make it 70-66 with 21 seconds on the clock. Bradley sandwiched a 3-pointer by Katie Yohn between four more Grayson freebies, and Bibbins - who missed all of last season due to injury - swatted a Kelsey Budd trey attempt and gathered the rebound to allow the Green Wave to run out the clock.
In addition to leading the team in scoring, Grayson also paced the Wave with eight rebounds while sharing team-high assist honors with senior wing Janique Kautsky
with five each and sharing team-high assists honors with Bibbins, Kautsky and Kaplan with one each. Grayson and Bibbins were the only two Tulane players to post double-digit scoring totals, but 11 of the 12 players to take the court hit at least one field goal.
Bibbins led a group of Tulane reserves who combined to outscore Bradley's bench players 42-30. The Green Wave out-rebounded the Braves 42-38 ad turned 11 offensive rebounds into 11 second-chance points. Sophomore forward Adesuwa Ebomwonyi had eight points while sophomore forward Tiffany Dale, sophomore guard Danielle Blagg and freshman center Chinwe Duru added seven apiece.
Yohn was one of three Bradley players to finish with a double-digit scoring total, tallying a game-best 17 points while Smith and Catie O'Leary had 15 and 10, respectively. O'Leary completed a double-double with 10 rebounds and Yohn had a team-best five assists.
Following the game against Western Michigan, the Green Wave return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when they play host to Auburn at Devlin Fieldhouse. Tipoff for that game is slated for 7 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on Cox Sports Television.
For tickets to Tulane/Auburn contest, as well as future Green Wave events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.