Tulane heading into conference play with confidence, Stockton on “The Streak”
Tulane may not be ranked but the team from New Orleans is turning heads early this season with an 8-2 record including a win over in-state rival Louisiana State. The Green Wave goes into the second half of the season with an addition to their arsenal â€“ the return of senior Danielle Nunn. The senior forward, a transfer from Texas Christian, missed the first eight games of the season due to a broken right pinky during a preseason scrimmage.
Brittany Lindsey, also a senior forward, is back in action also after missing three games following recovery from a concussion suffered in a November 27 loss to the Portland State. The teamâ€™s only other defeat was on December 17 against another in-state rival, Louisiana Tech.
Recently, the team allowed Hoopfeed.com photographer Cheryl Vorhis access to a practice at the end of the final examination period for students at the school. Vorhisâ€™ photo slideshow from December 10 provides a glimpse into the teamâ€™s day-to-day preparation. Click here for a full screen slideshow of the practice.
Coaching for the Postseason
Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton has led the team for 17 years. She is optimistic about her squad earning repeat titles as the Conference USA regular season and tournament champions and earning a berth to the NCAA tournament.
â€œWe return a lot of experienced players from last year’s championship team,â€ said Stockton about their early success this season. Â â€œOur strengths are how balanced and unselfish this group is every game. Â One underrated quality of our team is how hard we play. Â This year’s squad has the potential to be more versatile and play at a higher level than last year if we can continue to improve.â€
During her time with the Green Wave, Stockton has led her team to postseason play 11 times (10 NCAAs, 1 WNIT) and claimed Coach of the Year honors three times (Metro in 1995, Conference USA in 2007 and 2010).
Tulane has won the C-USA regular season title four times and the tournament title five times. Last season, they won the C-USA tournament with a 62-54 victory over the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
On November 23, the team traveled to Baton Rouge and defeated Southeastern Conference member LSU, 54-52. Tulane broke LSUâ€™s 33-game winning streak against in-state opponents going back to 2000. Last season, LSU beat Tulane in overtime 73-65. The Tigers were ranked No. 7 in the country at the time.
â€œAfter our overtime loss against LSU last season, I felt strongly that our players were going into the game confident that we could win, even on their court,â€ said Stockton of this yearâ€™s pre-game mindset. Â â€œI was very happy that our players, especially our seniors, had the opportunity to get that win.â€
Talking About â€œThe Streakâ€
This week the No. 1 ranked team, Connecticut, continues to march forward in setting milestones for womenâ€™s basketball with its 88-game win streak, tying the NCAA Division I basketball record. Stockton admires the Husky program for what they have accomplished and puts the UConn streak in perspective when it comes to parity in womenâ€™s basketball.
â€œWhat UCONN has done is amazing because I believe there is more parity in women’s basketball than ever before,â€ she said. â€œThe number of outstanding high school girlâ€™s basketball players has increased over the years. Â More college programs can play at an elite level because the talent pool is so good. Â I believe we will continue to see more upsets and new teams emerge in women’s basketball in the years to come.â€
Tulane hosts the DoubleTree Classic tournament this holiday season December 28-29. Other teams participating in the tournament include Nicholls State, Charlotte and Old Dominion. Tulane tips off against Nicholls State at 6:00 p.m. CT next Tuesday. Streaming video of the game will be available on the CBSSports.com College Network.