NEW ORLEANS, La. – Niya Mitchell and Ciani Cryor both posted double-doubles while Ataiya Bridges scored 21 points off the bench as TSU opened the Tulane Classic with a 72-62 win over tourney host Tulane Friday afternoon.
The Tigers opened the game by taking Tulane’s best shot as they battled back from a trio of six-point deficits throughout the first quarter. The Green Wave were up by six with 21 seconds remaining but Cryor’s trey with 12 seconds left sent TSU into the second quarter down 20-17. After an up-and-down first quarter, the scoring was minimal in the second quarter as TSU claimed an 11-9 margin but remained behind by one point at 29-28.
Similar to the team’s last win on Dec. 7, the Tigers turned up the intensity in the third quarter again as Mitchell put the team on her back. Mitchell opened the quarter with six straight points and a trey by Richelle Velez gave TSU a 37-33 margin with 6:03 left. The Tigers would outscore Tulane 16-5 from that point to claim a 53-38 lead as the quarter came to an end. Mitchell scored 12 points in the quarter while Ataiya Bridges got in on the act with nine points.
The Tigers would push their lead up to 18 early in the fourth quarter but Tulane whittled its deficit to five with 29 seconds remaining. TSU would nail 5-of-6 free throws after the late scare to seal the win.
Bridges led TSU with 21 off the bench while Mitchell scored 20 points with 13 rebounds and three steals. Cryor scored 15 with 14 assists and four steals while narrowly missing out on a triple double with nine rebounds.
TSU will close out tourney play versus UAB Saturday at 1 p.m.