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Tulane men’s basketball team finally achieve back-to-back home winning streak in conference | Tulane

After a heart-wrenching overtime loss to East Carolina, Tulane’s men’s basketball team played hard for 40 minutes against South Florida.

That effort was more than enough to subdue the struggling attacking Bulls, who are set to break American Athletic Conference records for the fewest points and worst shooting percentage in a season.

Up 23 in the second half, Tulane (7-7, 3-1 AAC) never lagged while winning 68-54 at home against USF (5-9, 0-2) for win their second consecutive home. conference game for the first time in nine years of AAC gaming.

“It was a commercial victory,” said Tulane coach Ron Hunter. “For the first time since I’ve been here, I feel like every time we step on the ground, we have a chance to win. To compete in a championship, you have to win at home. I like the confidence and the arrogance that we play with.

The Wave can continue to change its ignominious AAC history (see: 25-99 record before this year) by winning Wednesday at Wichita State.

The Bulls came in averaging 57.4 points per game – no team in the league has gone below 60 for a full season – and are shooting 37.3 percent.

It started in good form when USF’s Russel Tchewa shot an aerial balloon 4 feet over Tulane’s Kevin Cross. The Wave led 9-2 after five minutes, 29-16 on a 3-point loss to Jalen Cook with 1:23 left in the first half, and were ahead in double digits for the final 18 minutes.

Cook, Cross and RJ McGee all scored 17 points, a high for the team, which was not unusual for the first two, but was a career high for McGee, a third-year player who also contributed 13 points in an opening conference victory over Memphis. Prior to that, he had five double-digit scoring outings in his career.

His game is based on playing hard and knocking down corner 3s, which he did twice on Saturday.

“I have practiced this stroke a million times,” he said. “I know what the coach expects of me so in every game there is no doubt what to do. I feel more comfortable there.

Tulane struggled to generate offense at times, shooting 39.6%, but he was always able to count on his defense, especially against South Florida. The Bulls have crossed the 60-point mark just five times this season, including a 54-39 loss to BYU in December.

Thanks to a late push, the Bulls actually shot better (39.6%) than their norm, but Tulane kept top scorers Javon Greene and Caleb Murphy at seven points combined.

“Our defense suffocated them,” Hunter said. “I’m really happy with the way we played.

Tulane was within reach of his biggest AAC margin of victory – 94-71 over USF in 2017 – before a 9-0 second-half pair of USFs pulled him one step closer. The Wave, who improved to 8-5 against the Bulls in the league, won easily despite getting just five points from Jaylen Forbes.

Cook put on his usual show, draining a 3 point drop to beat the shot clock in the second half and feeding Cross for a layup for one of his four assists. The capper arrived when reserve center Nobal Days gave a nice pass from the post to Jadan Coleman for a corner 3 that gave the wave a 63-42 lead.

“We have more camaraderie and play better as a team than in previous years,” said McGee. “It’s the first time that I feel like we’ve been playing from top to bottom as a team, and it shows on the pitch.”

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