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Houston (15-8) at Tulsa (13-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Donald W. Reynolds Center (8,355) -- Tulsa, Oklahoma. Television: FSN. Home Record: UH 11-4, TU 7-3. Away Record: UH 4-4, TU 5-6. Neutral Record: UH 0-0, TU 1-2. Conference Record: UH 3-9, TU 5-5. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 22-21.
GAME NOTES: The Houston cougars had traveled to the Reynolds Center to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in Conference USA action.
Houston prevailed over UTEP, 79-61, on Wednesday night at home. That victory continued the pattern of alternating wins and losses for the Cougars that goes back six games.
Tulsa's last win was also over UTEP, a 74-70 decision in El Paso last Saturday. That victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Golden Hurricane.
This is the 44th meeting between Tulsa and Houston on the hardwood, and the former owns a 22-21 lead in a series that dates back to 1951. The Golden Hurricane claimed an 87-72 win over the Cougars in Houston on Jan. 23, and the teams have split the season series in the last two years, with the home team winning each time.
The Cougars enter this bout on the heels of an impressive win against UTEP. Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas flirted with a triple-double and led all players with a career-high 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Freshman forward Danuel House added 19 points, including three 3-pointers, and added five rebounds and four assists, while Joseph Young chipped in 12 points.
Young leads his team in scoring with 17.0 ppg, while Thomas is nearly averaging a double-double with 16.3 ppg and 9.7 rpg. Most impressively, Thomas is shooting 52.9 percent from the field and is the only Cougar to start all 23 games this season. Houston has a high-powered offense, averaging 77.3 ppg and shooting 46.2 percent from the field, but it opponents are netting 71.1 ppg.
D'Andre Wright scored a career-high 25 points off the bench as the Golden Hurricane held off UTEP the last time out. Wright also added eight rebounds for Tulsa, while Kauri Black chipped in with 13 points, Rashad Ray netted 12, and Scottie Haralson handed out eight assists. Tulsa broke a 58-58 tie on a Haralson 3-pointer with 3:57 to play, and it never looked back.
Tulsa has been playing decent defense this season, allowing 65.2 ppg. That type of defensive success has been wasted though due to a struggling offensive effort, the team netting just 65.2 ppg on 43.3 percent field goal efficiency. James Woodard (10.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is the only player on the roster averaging double figures as well as the team's top player on the glass. Pat Swilling (9.4 ppg) gives the team a spark off the bench, while Haralson (9.0 ppg) provides a solid third option.
While playing great defense, Tulsa has a ton of trouble putting up points, so look for the Cougars to score just enough to steal the road win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Houston 68, Tulsa 60
02/16 10:36:46 ET
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