December 7, 2013

Tulane hoops ends five-game skid

Jay Hook recaptured his torrid early-season form, and that was barely enough for the Tulane men's basketball team to end its five-game losing streak.

Mired in a 2-for-15 slump overall and a 2-for-10 stretch on 3-pointers in his last four games, he caught fire in the first half against Jackson State and never let up.

By the time he was finished, he had hit a school-record eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points as the Green Wave held off the Tigers 70-65 on Saturday afternoon at Devlin Fieldhouse.

"Shooters never get down on their shot," Hook said. "My mentality was to keep shooting and everybody just told me to keep shooting. I just trusted my teammates."

Tulane (5-5) needed this win in the worst way after losing five in a row, including the last four by double digits to the likes of Colgate, Texas State and Southeast Missouri. Jackson State (2-7) was no pushover, having won at Air Force and lost by two points at Mississippi State.

The Tigers did not go down easily, rallying from a 51-39 deficit to take their first lead since 17-15 early in the first half on a lay-up by Derell Taylor, making the score 59-57 with 4:04 left.

Hook responded with a driving layup and put the Green Wave up for good, 61-60, on two free throws with 2:06 left.

"You hit your first few shots, and then they play up on you," Hook said. "Then you have to drive. I just played off of that."

Freshman point guard Jonathan Stark finished off the Tigers on a pull-up to make the score 66-62 with 25 seconds remaining.

Still, this was Hook's day. He made 10 of 16 shots while his teammates went 10 for 32. He sank eight of his first nine 3-pointers, breaking Patrick Lewis' 17-year-old Tulane record of seven with 9:33 left.

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