Tulane’s young basketball team looked nervous at the start of its season opener.
However, the Green Wave calmed down in the second half and defeated Lamar 66-57 in the Tulane Classic on Friday.
Tulane hopes to be more relaxed from beginning to end Sunday when it faces Lipscomb on the final day of the Classic.
“I’ve never seen a young group as nervous as my group was in the first half,” Green Wave coach Ron Hunter said. “We were going so fast, we were running past balls, and if the ball touched their fingers, they felt like they had to shoot.”
Tulane, which has no seniors, fell behind 16-6 and trailed 30-21 at halftime before outscoring the Cardinals 45-27 in the second half.
“We did a lot of little things that veteran basketball teams don’t do, but these young guys will figure it out,” Hunter said. “I would rather have them play a game like this than winning by 20 and having these young guys thinking they are better than they are. They realized what college basketball is all about.”
Jaylen Forbes, a transfer from Alabama, led the Green Wave with 15 points and Tylan Pope added 12 points.
Lipscomb got off to a better start in its season opener, playing Lamar to a 30-all halftime tie Saturday.
The Bisons, the preseason favorite to win the ASUN Conference, built a 17-point lead midway through the second half and held off the Cardinals 76-73.