December 6, 2001
Ross Hurwitz, Hullabaloo contributing writer
Not only has the Green Wave opened up their season 4-0, but they have also done so in convincing fashion. With victories over Loyola in the Holy War: Part Deux, Centenary, Norfolk State and Virginia Commonwealth, this marks the second consecutive year in which they have opened their season with three straight wins and the first year of Head Coach Shawn Finney's tenure that the team has started 4-0. Tulane dominated Loyola in a maximum capacity crowd of 3,011 at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse.
The game looked like it was over before it even started as Tulane's smothering press and tenacious defense dominated a bewildered Loyola team that committed 31 turnovers. Junior Brandon Brown was an overpowering inside presence throughout the game, leading four players with double-digit scoring with 22 points. His transition, alley-oop dunk early in the game ignited the crowd and his team, leading to a 22-3 run to open the game.
Tulane led 38-15 at the half and continued to control the game in the second half as they continued on to a 40-point blowout, defeating Loyola 87-47. Junior Waitari Marsh had a huge game with 12 points, 8 assists, 7 steals, and 6 rebounds. Brandon Spann added 14 points and Junior Nick Sinville had 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
In the second game, five players posted double-digit scoring numbers as they defeated Centenary, 92-76. The Green Wave won the game on the free throw line hitting 35, just three shy of the team record set back in 1960. A late first-half run was key to victory as they turned a 33-31 deficit into a 50-38 lead at the half. Centenary would cut the deficit to eight points in the second half, but that was the closest they would get as the Green Wave would not relinquish the lead.
The team was led by Sinville, who had an enormous game with a double-double. The junior forward had career highs in both points and rebounds, scoring 22 and pulling down 12 boards. Sophomore, Wayne Tinsley, Brown and Marsh all scored 17 points in the victory. Spann contributed 12 points and 4 assists. In the third game of the season, Tulane defeated Norfolk State 89-67 despite missing their first 9 attempts from the field.
Finney said after the game, "We came out slow, but that's going to happen from time to time. Our guys stayed aggressive, stayed in the press and our shots began to fall."
The suffocating press forced 24 turnovers that led to 28 Green Wave points. The team was led by Spann, who led all players with a game high 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Sinville added 19 points and 6 rebounds, and Marsh contributed 18 points in the winning effort. The team then traveled to its first road game of the season against VCU.
The game was a back and forth struggle for the Wave, who eventually came out on top in the closing minutes when a Marsh lay-up with two seconds left and a no time-out technical foul on VCU made it 76-72. Full coverage will be in next week's edition of the Hullabaloo.
The Green Wave will travel to Gainesville, Fla. to face a stellar Gator team Sunday. The No. 6 Gators are 2-1 on the season. Tulane will return back home on Wednesday, when they will face UNO at Fogelman Arena at 7:00 p.m.
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