Tulane (15-8) at Texas El Paso (11-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 9:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Don Haskins Center (12,222) -- El Paso, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Tulane 12-2, UTEP 9-4. Away Record: Tulane 2-6, UTEP 0-8. Neutral Record: Tulane 1-0, UTEP 2-1. Conference Record: Tulane 3-6, UTEP 4-6. Series Record: UTEP leads, 6-3.
GAME NOTES: Conference-USA action continues tonight in El Paso, as the Miners host the Tulane Green Wave at the Don Haskins Center.
The new year has not been kind to the Green Wave, who after a 12-2 start to their campaign, have just three wins in their last nine games. Still, Tulane owns a 15-8 overall ledger up to this point, and snapped a minor two-game skid with a decisive 75-54 verdict against Houston over the weekend.
As for UTEP, the Miners snapped a four-game losing streak with a 64-55 verdict over Tulsa on Wednesday night, improving to 11-13 overall this season and 4-6 in conference action.
UTEP owns a 6-3 edge over Tulane in terms of the all-time series between the two programs.
Tulane jumped out to a 42-30 halftime lead and never looked back against Houston. The Green Wave shot 58.6 percent from the field during that opening stanza, limiting the Cougars to just 39.3 percent from the floor in the process. Tulane shot at a 50.0 percent clip overall during the meeting, and added a 10-of-15 effort at the foul line as well. The Green Wave won the battle of the boards by a 35-29 margin, and dominated the contest down-low with a 42-30 thrashing of the Cougars in the paint. Ricky Tarrant posted a game-high 21 points to lead the way for Tulane in the triumph, while Jordan Callahan added 17 points. Josh Davis finished with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Green Wave averages a respectable 66.4 points per game while yielding just 58.1 ppg to the opposition this season, but the squad is shooting at an underwhelming 43.1 percent pace. Still, Tulane has had mild success from beyond the arc (35.8 percent) as well as at the foul line (65.9 percent). At the defensive end of the court, the Green Wave has forced 344 turnovers through their 30 contests, and own a 35.7 - 32.6 rebounding edge over their adversaries. The club boasts four players with a double-digit scoring average, beginning with Tarrant and his 14.2 ppg tally. Timmons follows (13.6 ppg), while Callahan and Josh Davis have been responsible for 12.0 and 10.7 ppg, respectively, with the latter leading the squad on the boards as well with a 9.4 rpg mark.
The Miners took just four shots from long range against Tulsa, missing the bottom of the net on each attempt, but otherwise shot 47.8 percent from the field during the nine-point win. UTEP struggled from the charity stripe overall as well, making good on 20 opportunities but getting 32. The Miners played particularly well at the defensive end of the court, limiting the Golden Hurricane to a meager 33.9 percent clip and forcing a game-high 13 giveaways. John Bohannon posted a game-high 16 points off the bench to lead the way for UTEP, while Michael Perez and Julian Washburn tallied 14 and 13 points as well, respectively. Despite an above-average 47.5 shooting percentage, the Miners have netted just 65.1 ppg this season. The squad has however, struggled from both long range (35.4 percent) as well as at the foul line (69.9 percent) this year, but do own four players with a double-digit scoring average. Perez paces the club with a 12.0 ppg mark, while Gabriel McCulley follows with his 11.9 ppg. Bohannon has been responsible for 11.5 points to go with a team-best 7.2 rebounds per contest, while Washburn has contributed 11.3 ppg.
The Green Wave got an important win their last time on the hardwood, as things were really starting to spiral out of control for Tulane. Expect the club to continue the upward trend tonight against the Miners, who do not match up at either end of the court.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulane 69, Texas-El Paso 57
02/11 10:49:33 ET