January 26, 2013
Tulane struggled against Rice, but winning all that matters
It was really ugly, but ugly doesn't matter for Tulane at this point. Winning does, and a 73-66 victory against possibly the worst team in Conference USA history will suffice.
Rice entered Devlin Fieldhouse with a 4-14 record, having beaten St. Edwards, Houston Baptist, Chicago State and UNO and losing to the likes of LIU Brooklyn 97-60, Harvard 92-60 and Hartford 58-51. The Owls died when dominant big man Arsalan Kazemi transferred to Oregon and five other players departed in the offseason, leaving them with a small, young roster that doesn't do much of anything well but rebounds particularly horribly.
After going 3-13 in Conference USA for three consecutive years, though, Tulane (14-6, 2-3) can't be picky about the way it wins. It is time to forget about another poor shooting performance and a series of defensive lapses that allowed Rice (4-15, 0-5) easy drives for uncontested layups and start preparing for a potential season-defining game against UCF next Wednesday at Devlin Fieldhouse.
"A win is a win," point guard Ricky Tarrant said. "We didn't play well, but we did the things we needed to do to come out with the win."
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