Tulane Men’s Basketball Drops Regular Season Finale to Wichita State, 78-70

Sports

NEW ORLEANS – In its 2021 regular-season finale, the Tulane men’s basketball team suffered a 78-70 home loss to first-place Wichita State in American Athletic Conference play Wednesday evening at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

Jordan Walker led four Tulane (9-12, 4-12 AAC) scorers in double-figures with a team-high 17 points and four assists, while Gabe Watson added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, off the bench. Kevin Cross added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists, while R.J. McGee chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Green Wave outscored the Shockers, 37-32, in the second half, 12-2 on fast breaks and 18-8 overall off the bench.

Tulane’s offense clicked early, making five of their first eight shots, but the Shockers were equally as efficient from the floor hitting six of their first 10 to hold a 14-11 advantage just over seven minutes into the action.

Leading by five, Wichita State (14-4, 10-2 AAC) scored 10 straight points to open a 28-13 lead, but an 11-3 run by Tulane capped by Watson’s third 3 cut the deficit to six, 30-24, with 6:08 remaining. The Shockers responded once again with an 11-2 run of their own to push their advantage back to 15 with 2:39 left.

The Wave trailed 46-33 at halftime despite Watson making his fourth consecutive trey with 46 seconds to go in the period.

Tulane shot an effective 12-of-24 (.500) from the field in the first half, 5-of-9 (.556) beyond the arc and 4-of-4 at the foul line in the first half. Wichita State shot 19-of-35 (.543) overall and 8-of-18 (.444) from deep.

The Green Wave worked the ball inside early in the second half leading to five consecutive made free throws by Walker and a basket by Cross to cut the margin to seven, 49-42, with 16:18 left in the game.

Tulane drew as close as five points, 52-47, on Walker’s lone trey of the night with 14:07 to go, but Wichita State expanded its lead back to double digits in just over two minutes of game time.

The Green Wave remained within striking distance down the stretch despite the Shockers growing the margin to as many as 11 with 3:10 remaining. Although the Wave got as close as six twice in the final 75 seconds of the game, Wichita had answers to keep its lead at multiple possessions.

Tulane finished the night shooting 23-of-53 (.434) overall, 7-of-16 (.438) from outside and 17-of-22 (.773) at the foul line, while Wichita State went 27-of-60 (.450) from the field, 13-of-31 (.419) beyond the arc and 11-of-24 (.458) at the free throw stripe.

The Shockers were led by Trey Wade’s 23 points, as Dexter Dennis compiled 20 points and 13 rebounds. Morris Udeze also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, as Alterique Gilbert dished out 12 assists despite six turnovers.

Wichita assisted on 22 of its 27 made baskets in the contest.

Tulane awaits finalized seeding information before heading to Fort Worth, Texas to compete in the 2021 American Athletic Conference Championship. The tournament will be held March 8-11 at Dickies Arena.

{Press release courtesy of Tulane Athletics}

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