GREENVILLE, N.C. (WGNO– Sophomore guard Jaylen Forbes scored a team-high 24 points, but it was not enough, as the Tulane University men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 88-80 setback in overtime to East Carolina University Wednesday night inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

Tulane’s overtime session was the Green Wave’s first of the season and its first since a 2020 matchup with Memphis. The loss marked Tulane’s first loss in conference play this season. The loss also moved Tulane to 5-7 overall.

Forbes finished the night by going 7-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-13 from 3-point range. The Florence, Mississippi, native scored in double figures for the 10th time this season and the 30th time in his career. 

Joining Forbes in double figures were teammates Jalen Cook and Kevin Cross, as they finished with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Cross also pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds and notched his second double-double of the year.

ECU jumped out to an early 11-5 lead, but the Green Wave fought back to trim the Pirates lead to two (15-13) with 13:11 to play in the first half. Cook scored six of the Green Wave’s eight points during Tulane’s 8-4 push over the five-minute stretch.

The Pirates responded to the Green Wave’s run as they opened up a 15-point lead thanks to a 25-11 run over the next nine minutes to take a 39-24 lead with 4:32 to go in the first half. Tulane closed out the first half on a high note, as it held ECU to just four points for the remainder of the half to cut the Pirates lead to six (43-37) heading into the locker room.

Coming out of the locker room, Tulane chipped away at ECU’s lead and outscored the Pirates by an 18-10 count to take its first lead of the game with 11:12 remaining in the contest. Tulane moved its lead to four on its next possession thanks to a jumper in the paint by Cross which gave the Green Wave a 57-53 advantage with 10:35 to go.

Tulane would then go nearly six minutes without a field goal, but despite its struggles from the floor, the Green Wave remained close thanks to some strong defensive play.

Both teams were tied at 64 apiece with just under 3:30 to go. During the final stretch in regulation, neither team led by more than three points. Tulane took a three-point lead with 13 seconds remaining thanks to a 3-pointer by Forbes, but ECU responded to tie the game with two seconds to play.

Tulane had one last chance to win the game in regulation, but Cross’ 20-foot just rimmed out, which sent the game into overtime.

In the overtime session, Tulane was outscored 17-9, as ECU secured the win. Fourteen of the Pirates’ 17 points in the overtime session came from guard Tristen Newton. Newton finished the contest with a game-high 32 points.

LAGNIAPPE
-Tulane’s matchup against ECU marked the Green Wave’s eighth opponent with a record of .500-or-better.
-The Green Wave had three-or-more players score in double figures for the 10th time this year.

-Tulane lost the turnover battle for just the third time this season. The Green Wave finished with 16 turnovers compared to ECU’s 13.
-Tulane guard Jaylen Forbes made his 34th straight start.
-Tulane’s eight-point loss at ECU was just the fourth game this season that has been decided by five-points or more.
-The Green Wave made a 3-pointer for the 238th straight game.  

UP NEXT

Tulane returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 8) where it will welcome USF. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. CT and will be aired live on ESPNU.

{Press release courtesy of Tulane Athletics}