Basketball journalist Hannah Robbins discusses missed opportunities in the Golden Hurricane’s 50-46 loss to Tulane.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, Tulsa just let the Tulane Green Wave wash right over them before failing to claw back to the lead. Morgan Brady was the only Golden Hurricane to hit double digits, scoring 18 points, with the next highest scorer Kayla Moutry’s seven points. This was not enough to withstand Tulane.
At the start of the game, Tulsa had a good rhythm going. Brady started the game off with a jumper. The Golden Hurricane tried to capitalize off the shot but missed on successive possessions. A layup by Kendrian Elliott and two free throws by Rebecca Lescay brought Tulsa up by four, their largest lead of the game. After that, the team started to stagnate. After one more free throw by Desiree Lewis, Tulsa watched on as Tulane scored eight unanswered points, missing five separate shots. Brady hit one three pointer, leaving Tulsa only down five going into the second quarter.
The second quarter started scoreless; it took three minutes for KK Rodriguez to hit a three, putting two of the lead, but Tulane continued to trade shots with Tulsa, leaving TU with a deficit. Maddie Bittle’s three towards the end of the half seemed to light a fire, but three successive shots by Tulane left the Golden Hurricane scoreless for the remainder of the half.
After the half, Tulsa continued to lag behind; Brady’s layup marked the only points on the board for the first half of the third quarter. Elliot and Rodriguez each hit a shot, but the 13-point deficit seemed to be too much for the tired team. Moutry’s pair of free throws concluded an abysmal scoring quarter.
As the Golden Hurricane entered the fourth quarter, they seemed to dominate the hoop and remember that they had the ability to win a game, scoring the ten points of the half with shots by Moutry and Brady. Tulane only had two shots on the hoop in that time, as even the handful of missed shots of the first half of the quarter were all by Tulsa. With four minutes left and a deficit of only four, Tulane started to get back on the board with a single free throw by Mia Hiede. Unfortunately, that was enough to break up Tulsa’s rhythm as the Golden Hurricane watched Tulane score another three, widening the gap between the teams. Unfortunately, a key layup by Elliot and a three by Moutry did not make a dent in the lead as fouls by Tulsa allowed Tulane to keep their lead, ending a mere four points up, 50-46.
This game shows that Tulsa has some basic things to work on for the future, namely their ability to shoot. Tulsa should be able to make more than one in every four shots they take. That’s about the average I have, and some of those misses were rather dramatic air balls. Even at the line they didn’t perform very well. Sixty percent free throw shooting is low, especially given the amount of free throws Tulsa let Tulane take. Tulsa had the opportunity to succeed in this game, and their final deficit of just four points shows they’re just not quite there yet. Maybe some shot practice would help.