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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jack Stephens Center (5,600) -- Little Rock, Arkansas. Television: None. Home Record: Tulsa 4-1, UALR 6-0. Away Record: Tulsa 1-1, UALR 0-3. Neutral Record: Tulsa 1-1, UALR 1-1. Conference Record: Tulsa 0-0, UALR 0-0. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane begin a four-game road trip on Saturday, when they invade the Jack Stephens Center to take on the Arkansas- Little Rock Trojans.
Danny Manning's first season with the Golden Hurricane has been mildly successful, with the team sporting a 6-3 overall record. Tulsa just finished up a two-game homestand with wins over Missouri State (61-42) a TCU (50-49).
Steve Shields is in his 10th season with the Trojans. UALR is currently sitting at 7-4 on the year and has had most of its success at home, where the team is a perfect 6-0 thus far. The Trojans did have a three-game win streak come to and end with an 87-53 rout at the hands of nationally-ranked Cincinnati last time out.
Tulsa holds a 3-2 series advantage. The Golden Hurricane won last year's meeting at home, 65-49. UALR has won both prior meetings in Little Rock.
The Golden Hurricane won a defensive battle with the Horned Frogs, posting the 50-49 win. Tulsa shot a solid 46 percent from the field overall and held a 33-27 edge in rebounding. Freshman D'Andre Wright led the way with 14 points. Kauri Black and Shaquille Harrison added nine points each in the win. The Golden Hurricane were guilty of 23 turnovers in the game.
Tulsa's record this season is due in large part to its strong defensive play. The Golden Hurricane are allowing just 61.4 ppg this year, as foes are shooting under 40 percent overall (.393). Freshman James Woodard (13.8 ppg) currently leads the team in scoring, with Rashad Smith (14.5 ppg) sidelined with a foot injury. Scottie Haralson (9.1 ppg), Pat Swilling Jr. (8.5 ppg) and Wright (8.4 ppg) provide some scoring depth.
Arkansas-Little Rock was also guilty of 23 turnovers last time out, but unlike Tulsa, the Trojans ended up on the wrong side of a lopsided loss to Cincinnati. UALR only converted 40 percent from the floor in the game, getting 10 points each from freshman James White, junior Will Neighbour and sophomore Ben Dillard.
The Trojans aren't the most explosive squad around, with the team netting 67.4 ppg on a mediocre .428 shooting. Neighbour is the top offensive threat, coming into this contest averaging 12.0 ppg. Freshman John Gillon is the only other Trojan currently in double figures at 10.7 ppg, although White isn't far off the mark at 9.7 ppg.
Both teams are off to good starts, but Tulsa's young lineup still has to prove it can win on the road. That won't be easy against the Trojans, who take it to another level on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkasas-Little Rock 63, Tulsa 59
12/15 10:38:09 ET
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