UAB (13-14) at Tulane (18-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 27, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: UAB 10-3, Tulane 14-2. Away Record: UAB 3-9, Tulane 3-7. Neutral Record: UAB 0-2, Tulane 1-0. Conference Record: UAB 5-7, Tulane 6-6. Series Record: UAB leads, 23-12.
GAMES NOTES: Two teams near the middle of Conference USA standings will try to pick up traction when the UAB Blazers meet up with the Tulane Green Wave at Devlin Fieldhouse.
With the regular season's end right around the corner UAB really needs to do some work to secure solid positioning for the C-USA Tournament. The Blazers, who are 13-14 overall and 5-7 in league action, are currently eighth in the league standings. UAB has helped itself out of late with wins in four of its last five outings, including a 52-48 victory over Marshall recently. UAB will play its next two games at home beginning against SMU.
Tulane has also captured wins in four of its last five games but even so remains right in the middle of the C-USA standings. The Green Wave is an impressive 18-9 overall but has split its 12 contests against league foes. Tulane has been very tough to beat at Devlin Fieldhouse this year with a 14-2 mark on its home floor. However, a two-game road trip awaits Tulane after this game beginning against Tulsa.
This is the only scheduled meeting between these programs this season. A year ago these teams met twice with UAB pulling out both victories, including a 72-64 triumph in the conference tournament. The Blazers have won the last nine matchups and lead the all-time series, 23-12.
There wasn't much offense to be found between Marshall and UAB. The Blazers shot just 30.3 percent from the floor in the contest while hitting on just 4- of-18 attempts from beyond the arc. However, the Blazers also held the Thundering Herd to just 26.3 percent shooting, while holding off a second-half rally in the four-point decision.
Normally scoring hasn't been an issue for the Blazers, who average 72.1 points per game and had put in at least 70 points in six of their previous seven games. Rod Rucker (13.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg) and Jordan Swing (13.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) provide a solid one-two punch for the Blazers as the team's top two scorers. Rucker is also the top rebounder on the squad and one of just a handful of players in the conference averaging at least 13 points and eight rebounds per game. Swing provides solid work on the glass as well, while scoring in double figures in three of the last four outings.
Tulane blasted Rice, 89-64, last time out. Led by 30 points from Ricky Tarrant and a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double from Josh Davis, the Green Wave rolled to victory by shooting 49.1 percent from the floor, hitting nine shots from 3-point range. Tulane also earned a 21-6 edge in points off turnovers.
For Tulane the offensive end of the floor has not always been so kind. The Green Wave rank in the bottom half of C-USA in scoring (67.8 pg), while shooting the second worst percentage from the floor (.419). Failure to share the ball has been a concern with the Green Wave also second to last in the conference in assists (11 apg). Davis (17.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg) is a constant double-double threat and the only player in the conference to be averaging one on the season. His effort against Rice gave him his 15th double-double this season which is among the 10 best marks in the country. Tarrant (16.0 ppg) is also a potent scorer who can really heat up from beyond the arc, while Jordan Callahan (10.8 ppg) provides additional scoring support.
The battle on the interior between Davis and Rucker should be a good one. Expect the difference to come in Tulane's ability to heat up from beyond the arc in front of its home crowd.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulane 73, UAB 68
02/27 10:36:54 ET