East Carolina (14-9) at Tulsa (13-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Donald W. Reynolds Center (8,355) -- Tulsa. Oklahoma. Television: None. Home Record: ECU 11-3, Tulsa 7-3. Away Record: ECU 3-6, Tulsa 5-6. Neutral Record: ECU 0-0, Tulsa 1-2. Conference Record: ECU 5-5, Tulsa 5-5. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 9-1.
GAME NOTES: Two teams battling for conference tournament seeding meet at the Reynolds Center on Wednesday night, as the East Carolina Pirates challenge the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in Conference USA action.
East Carolina is coming off an overtime game on Saturday, as it fell to Southern Miss, 86-82. The Pirates are tied for sixth place in the conference and just one game behind Tulsa for fifth-place. The top five seeds in the C- USA Tournament receive a bye into the quarterfinals.
Tulsa has won two games in a row, including an overtime matchup of their own, an epic, 101-92, triple-overtime affair against Houston last Saturday.
This bout marks the 11th meeting between Tulsa and East Carolina in men's basketball, with the former laying claim to a 9-1 series advantage. The Golden Hurricane has won the last eight meetings. Tulsa has a 4-0 mark at home in the series, winning each by an average of 20 ppg. The Hurricane won last year's meeting in Greenville, 70-67.
Akeem Richmond led the Pirates with 25 points, but it wasn't enough as they fell to Southern Miss in overtime last weekend. Miguel Paul added 22 points and Robert Sampson posted a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds for ECU. The Pirates blew a late 10-point lead in regulation, as USM finished the second half on a 14-4 run to force overtime. The Golden Eagles did most of their damage in the paint, outscoring the Pirates 54-18 down low. They also had a 40-30 rebounding advantage. . East Carolina averages 77.1 points and 37.1 rebounds per game and shoots .450 from the field, .335 from beyond the arc, and .698 from the free throw line. The Pirates allow opponents an average of 71.3 points and 38.0 rebounds per contest, and a .426 field goal percentage and .317 3-point percentage. They lead the conference in three categories: assists per game (17.3), assist to turnover ratio (1.3) and 3-point field goals per game (7.5). Maurice Kemp paces C-USA in scoring, averaging 18.0 points per game, and adds 7.8 rebounds for good measure. Miguel Paul ranks second in the league with 6.5 assists per contest, and tacks on 13.2 ppg. Robert Sampson scores 9.9 ppg and heads ECU with 9.1 rpg, and Ty Armstrong kicks in 9.4 ppg.
D'Andre White scored 21 points as Tulsa outlasted the Houston Cougars in a triple-overtime thriller at the Reynolds Center. James Woodard logged a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Golden Hurricane, while Pat Swilling, Jr. and Rashad Ray each finished with 14 points. Scottie Haralson chipped in 10 points as well. Ray was the hero, draining a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the second overtime, allowing the Golden Hurricane to win it in the third extra session.
The Golden Hurricane average 67.1 points and 36.4 rebounds per game, and shoot 43 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3-point range and 68 percent from the free throw line. TU allows 66.3 points and 34.7 rebounds per contest, as well as a .402 field goal percentage and a .327 3-point percentage. Freshman guard James Woodard leads Tulsa in scoring, averaging 12.3 points, with 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He is assisted by Swilling, Jr. (10.2 ppg), Haralson (9.6) and Wright (9.1).
Both of these teams are hoping to position themselves for a conference tournament bye. Tulsa expended a lot of energy in the marathon win last time out, but it always seems to have an answer for East Carolina in this series.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 68, East Carolina 65
02/20 11:09:39 ET