Tulane (15-8) at Houston (14-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) -- Houston, Texas. Television: CSS. Home Record: Tulane 13-2, Houston 10-3. Away Record: Tulane 1-6, Houston 4-4. Neutral Record: Tulane 1-0, Houston 0-0. Conference Record: Tulane 3-5, Houston 3-5. Series Record: Series is tied, 14-14.
GAME NOTES: Two strong teams that are currently struggling in Conference USA play will face off for an important bout at the Hofheinz Pavilion as the Houston Cougars host the Tulane Green Wave.
The Green Wave most recently took a convincing 91-75 win against Marshall. The much needed win came after two consecutive losses. With the win, Tulane moved to 15-8 overall, but was just the third win in-conference.
Houston is fresh off an 84-80 overtime win over SMU. It was the second win in three games for the Cougars who had previously sunk into a four-game slump. This is the first of a two-game homestand for Houston before hitting the road for three in a row. The Cougars are also just 3-5 in C-USA action and 14-7 overall.
These teams have split the all-time series with 14 wins apiece. The last meeting was a dominating win for Houston, 82-53 last February at home.
Although Tulane's defensive play was very uncharacteristic against Marshall at nearly 15 points more than average, the offensive play for the Green Wave was a higher tempo as well, as they put up over 25 points more than average, led by 23 points from Josh Davis. Ricky Tarrant contributed 19 points and nine assists, while Kendall Timmons added 16 points and five steals. Davis is averaging a double-double this season with 17.3 ppg and 10.0 rpg, leading the team in both categories. While Tarrant averages 15.0 ppg and Jordan Callahan averages 10.8, Davis is the only player in double-figure scoring that shoots over 40.0 percent from field, at 49.5 percent. The squad averages just 41.0 percent from the floor this season, but also hold opponents to 42.8 percent shooting and 60.0 ppg.
As a team the Cougars shot 54.0 percent from the floor against SMU, while Joseph Young went 5-of-9 from the field, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers, and scoring 17 points with six assists. J.J. Thompson added 13 points with the same shooting but had six turnovers while Jherrod Stiggers scored 16 points and TaShawn Thomas managed 15. Young leads the team in scoring this season with 16.8 ppg while Thomas is nearly averaging a double-double with 15.7 ppg and 9.7 rpg. Most impressively Thomas is shooting 52.7 percent from the field and is the only Cougar to start all 21 games this season. Houston is a high-powered offense, averaging 76.9 ppg and shooting 45.8 percent from the field, but allows opponents to score 70.8 ppg.
Houston has been most successful at home, where it has earned 10 of its 14 wins, while Tulane has struggled on the road, getting just one win in seven tries. As tough as Tulane's defense has been, if the team plays as soft on defense as it did against Marshall, it will not be able to overcome Houston's offensive firepower even with another high- scoring performance.
Sports Network Projected Outcome: Houston 74, Tulane 68
02/09 10:36:15 ET