WICHITA – The Tulane Green Wave made 11-of-12 free throws in the second half to help knock off Wichita State 61-56 in an American Athletic Conference showdown on Sunday at Charles Koch Arena.

Tulane came into the game ranked 345th out of 348 teams and found a way to make those free throws.

“I think the right people got to the line,” Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said.

For the Shockers, their aggressiveness backfired as Shyia Smith fouled out and put the Shockers in a bad spot offensively. Once Smith fouled out, the offense came to a grinding halt. The Shocker’s offense went 1-of-9 after Smith fouled out.

Wichita State jumped out 12-3 on Tulane to start the game. But watched as the Green Wave fought back, taking a 19-16 lead after the first quarter.

“We had some basketball problems today,” Keitha Adams “We didn’t guard their personnel wisely.”

After Wichita State went cold in the second quarter, going 5-of-16 from the floor and turning it over four times. Tulane took a 34-28 lead into the break.

Smith had five points and Mariah McCully had five of her 13 points in the third quarter as Wichita State made a move. They closed out on three-point shooters and limited Tulane to zero offensive rebounds in the third quarter. They marched up and down the court to a 11-2 run, giving Wichita State a 39-36 lead with 4:04 to go in the third quarter.

Kayla Manuirirangi drained a three-pointer with 9:04 to give Tulane the lead. One of the best three-pointer shooters in the AAC found themselves hitting a couple of big threes for the Green Wave in the fourth quarter. She hit her second one a minute later, giving Tulane the 47-44 lead.

After Carla Bremaud knocked down a three with 7:03 remaining, Wichita State was feeling good, up one and riding some momentum. Then, Tulane’s leading scorer, Krystal Freman got to the basket, converting the and-one opportunity. That gave Tulane the lead for good at 52-50 with 5:45 to go.
Smith fouled out with five minutes remaining and the offense that had found its rhythm in the third quarter disappeared. They would miss shots and put Tulane at the line.

“We didn’t play very well,” Adams said. “We still had a chance to win.”

Freeman made all five of her free throws in the fourth quarter, going 5-of-5. Manuirirangi knocked down two in the final frame as well.

McCully scored a team-high 13 points, extending her stretch of double-digit scoring to nine games. Over her last nine contests, the Grand Rapids, Michigan, native is averaging 15.1 points per game.

Seraphine Bastin neared double-double territory with nine points and seven rebounds. The sophomore guard also added three assists. Asia Henderson pulled down a game-high eight rebounds to go with six points.

Tulane outshot the Shockers, converting at a 41 percent clip compared to Wichita State's mark of 34 percent. The Green Wave also outrebounded Wichita State by a margin of 38-31.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of running for getting our butts kicked on the boards,” Adams said.

Manuirirangi led all scorers with 14 points off the bench for the Green Wave. Sierra Cheatham and Krystal Freeman both added 12 points.

Wichita State (8-7, 0-2) dropped to 0-2 in league play for the second straight season and also saw its three-game win streak vs. the Green Wave come to an end.

Wichita State has a week off before they’re back on the court. They’ll play at East Carolina next Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. local time.

“It’s a long season,” Adams said. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”