Tulsa (11-8) at Houston (12-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) -- Houston, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Tulsa 7-1. Houston 9-2. Away Record: Tulsa 2-5, Houston 3-3. Neutral Record: Tulsa 2-2, Houston 0-0. Conference Record: Tulsa 3-2, Houston 1-3. Series Record: Series is tied, 21-21.
GAMES NOTES: The Houston Cougars will try to put an end to a losing streak when the Tulsa Golden Hurricane comes to Hofheinz Pavilion for a Conference USA matchup on Wednesday night.
Tulsa will be looking to bounce back from a tough 75-72 loss to Tulane in the first half of this two-game homestand. With the setback the Golden Hurricane fell to 11-8 overall, while its conference mark dropped to 3-2. Tulsa has five losses in its seven previous road contests this season but up next the Golden Hurricane play Southern Miss at home.
A 79-75 loss in overtime to UCF on Saturday has Houston saddled with its longest losing streak of the season, which now stands at three games. The Cougars are now 12-5 overall on the campaign while managing just a single win in four tries against conference foes. The loss to UCF was just the second in 11 chances at Hofheinz Pavilion for the Cougars who wrap up this three-game homestand on Saturday against UAB.
In the last two years these squads have split the season series. That falls in line with how the all-time series has gone with the teams each having 21 wins against the other.
Although it was able to come within a point twice in the final minute, Tulsa was unable to get over the hump against Tulane. The Golden Hurricane were on short end of a 37-29 deficit on the boards in the contest, while being outscored 30-18 from beyond the arc and 23-12 from the free-throw line.
James Woodard (12.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg), who is the only player on the roster scoring in double figures, had one of his better games of the season against Tulane. The 6-foot-4 freshman scored 21 points for his fourth career 20-point effort while tying a career high with four assists. Patrick Swilling (9.8 ppg) is the second-best scoring option on the roster but due to his erratic shooting (.375 FG percentage) the junior guard has struggled to score consistently. The lack of scoring options has led Tulsa to be one of the worst offensive teams in the conference as it scores just 64.7 points per game.
Although it led for nearly the entire contest against UCF, Houston struggled in the last few minutes with three turnovers in its last three possessions to allow the Knights to even the score and force overtime. In the extra session the Cougars hit just 1-of-9 shots from the floor to surrender the victory.
TaShawn Thomas (15.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg) and Joseph Young (17.0 ppg) have been one of the best duos in the conference this season. Thomas, a 6-foot-8 forward, leads the conference in blocks (2.1 pg), is second in rebounds (9.8 pg) while ranking in the top 10 in scoring and field goal percentage. Young is a strong counterpoint in the backcourt as the fourth-best scorer in the league. Danuel House (13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg) provides yet another consistent scoring threat for Houston. Thanks to that many scoring options Houston has had no trouble filling it up this season as the conference's leading offensive team (77.9 ppg). The Cougars are the second best rebounding squad, led by Thomas, as they bring down 40.6 boards per game, the 18th best mark nationally.
Two very different teams are matched up in this contest. Houston has had no trouble scoring while Tulsa has struggled to do so. That disparity on the offensive end will favor the home squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Houston 71, Tulsa 64
01/23 10:43:17 ET