It was the most significant of the Mike Dunleavy era at Tulane.
Wednesday night, the Green Wave defeated Houston 81-72. The win was Tulane’s third in the American Athletic Conference this season, tying the number of league wins the Green Wave had a year ago.
But, head coach Mike Dunleavy said the win was significant for another very big reason.
Devlin Fieldhouse was a noisy place Wednesday night as Tulane defeated a club that came into the game with 14 wins, and a 4-1 record in conference play.
Tulane outrebounded Houston 26-13 in the second half and surrendered just one offensive rebound in the final 20 minutes, after allowing 15 in the first half. The Green Wave outscored Houston 26-20 in the paint and 23-21 off the bench.
Tulane has been a solid second half club, something Dunleavy attributes to conditioning.
"We work a lot on conditioning. There is probably six or seven games where we down double digits and we have come back and won," said Dunleavy. "I attribute that to our conditioning, that we can keep pushing. And, sometimes I am not subbing a lot of guys, they are playing big minutes."
Jordan Cornish, a transfer from UNLV, who prepped at Brother Martin, said Dunleavy's coaching has made a big difference in his game.
When he was hired, Dunleavy said he would stress an NBA style of play. Cornish said he has added a post up game to his repertoire, and also can serve as the team's bac up point guard.
Tulane has not been a .500 team in the league since the 2013-2014 season. That year, Tulane was 8-8 in Conference USA. That is certainly within reach for the Green Wave.
Dunleavy says he has a realistic and unrealistic side, and he likes the latter, better.
"The unrealistic side says, why not," said Dunleavy. We are 12-6 right now. Instead of 6 games in conference, you win nine games in conference. You put yourself in position to get something postseason wise."
Dunleavy has brought a winning mentality to Tulane basketball. The noise at Devlin Fieldhouse Wednesday night, is evidence.