Tulane rips Pepperdine to move to 9-0 at home

NEW ORLEANS — Guard Jordan Callahan scored 20 points, and forward Josh Davis scored 19 and keyed the decisive second-half run, as Tulane defeated Pepperdine 69-54 on Thursday at Devlin Fieldhouse.

The victory was the ninth in a row at home for Tulane (9-3), which travels to New York to play Hofstra on Saturday.

Guards Lorne Jackson and Jordan Baker scored 12 each to lead Pepperdine (7-5).

Callahan sank four 3-pointers, including three in helping to carry the Green Wave to a halftime lead it never lost. His fourth 3-pointer pushed Tulane’s lead to 12 in the second half and put him in second place on the school’s career list with 166, one ahead of Brandon Spann.

“It was just part of our normal offense,” said Callahan, who shot 6-of-9, including 4-of-7 on 3-point attempts. “We got it down low and kicked it back out for open 3s.”

Leading just 44-41, Tulane scored seven consecutive points to begin a 13-2 run that produced a 57-43 lead with 7:02 left in the game. Davis scored the first five points in the run, on a three-point play and two free throws.

After the 57-43 lead, Davis, driving to the basket, then sealed the victory with two three-point plays and two free throws.

“The 3-point shots opened things up in the second half for me,” said Davis, who also had a game-high seven rebounds. “In the first half, they were trying to be physical with me.”

Said Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson: “Davis got more aggressive, driving, but mainly he got to the free-throw line, and that took a lot out of us.”

When the second half began, the Green Wave wasted little time building on a six-point halftime lead. Point guard Ricky Tarrant, who finished with 13 points and six assists, got Tulane started. With Pepperdine (7-5) playing man-to-man defense, he posted Waves point guard Caleb Willis, was fouled and scored. Tarrant made the free throw, and Tulane led 33-24.

Callahan sank a 3-pointer two minutes later after an offensive rebound by Tre Drye for a 38-26 margin to that point, the largest of the game. However, Baker scored seven points in 1:26 to keep Pepperdine close at 44-39 at 13:39.

Tulane took a 30-24 halftime lead behind 13 points by Callahan, who shot 4-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-6 on 3-point attempts. He was the only player in double figures in the first half.

Pepperdine, which had trailed by six early, climbed to 21-19, then Callahan sank his third 3-pointer. He followed that up by being fouled on a drive, and made both free throws with 4:04 remaining in the half.

With Pepperdine playing man-to-man, Tarrant drove and dished to Tre Drye for a dunk, giving Tulane a 28-22 lead with 1:08 left.

Tarrant made two free throws in the final minute around a jump shot by Pepperdine’s Baker to go into halftime ahead 30-24.

The Green Wave outrebounded the Waves 18-11, getting seven offensive rebounds.