UCF (14-5) at Tulane (6-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: UCF 11-3, TU 12-1. Away Record: UCF 3-2, TU 1-5. Neutral Record: UCF 0-0, TU 1-0. Conference Record: UCF 4-1, TU 1-3. Series Record: UCF leads, 7-2.
GAME NOTES: Seeking a continuation of their recent series dominance, the UCF Knights travel to the Big Easy to take on the Tulane Green Wave in a Conference USA tilt from Devlin Fieldhouse.
After taking down the Mustangs of SMU last Saturday at home, 74-65, the Knights have now won three straight and five of their last six overall. UCF has won three games away from Orlando this year, matching their road win total from all of last season.
The Knights are 7-2 all-time vs. Tulane, and 6-1 against the Green Wave since UCF joined Conference USA in 2005. UCF has won five consecutive games in the series, and the team is 3-1 vs. Tulane in New Orleans. The three C-USA matchups in Louisiana have been decided by an average of 4.7 points. In the most recent matchup at Tulane, the Knights held on for a 65-62 win on Feb. 16, 2011. The teams met a year ago at the UCF Arena on Jan. 4, 2012, and the Knights posted a 60-53 win behind 19 points from Marcus Jordan.
Isaiah Sykes scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lift the Knights to a nine-point win at home over SMU on Saturday. UCF scored 11 of the game's final 13 points after the score was tied at 63-63 with 3:45 to play. Calvin Newell scored 17 points in the victory, and Tristan Spurlock added 14 points and a career-best four blocks.
Four Knights are averaging better than 13 ppg in league play: Sykes (16.4), Keith Clanton (15.8), Calvin Newell (15.6) and Tristan Spurlock (13.8). Sykes is the reigning C-USA Player of the Week. Clanton ranks sixth nationally in field goal percentage (.614). His 16.6 ppg overall rank fourth in the league, and his 9.3 rpg place him second. UCF continues to be one of the more accurate shooting teams, as it leads the conference and ranks eighth nationally in field goal percentage (.491). UCF is also second in C-USA in 3-point field goal percentage (.368) and third in scoring margin (+7.3).
Josh Davis scored a team-high 22 points and Rickey Tarrant and Jordan Callahan chipped in 16 and 10 points, respectively, to lead the Green Wave past visiting Rice over the weekend. The Green Wave allowed the Owls just one offensive rebound on the day and gave up just one 3-pointer in the second half after surrendering six in the opening period. The Green Wave also got to the free-throw line 30 times in the second half and knocked down 21 of those tries. Tulane shot 46.8 percent from the floor and hit 67.6 percent from the line. Rice shot 50 percent from behind the 3-point line in the first half, but was just 1-of-12 after the break. Tulane outrebounded the Owls, 38-21, and shot 18 more free throws than did the Owls
Davis (17.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg) has 11 double-doubles on the year and has recorded one in five of his last seven games. He is the leading scorer and rebounder in C-USA. In the backcourt, Tarrant (15.7 ppg) and Callahan (11.1 ppg) provide additional offensive punch. The trio make up a huge chunk of Tulane's scoring production as only one other player accounts for more than six points per game. Tulane has managed to limit opponents with its defense though, by letting up just 59.2 ppg, which is good for second in the league.
The Green Wave play solid defense but have a lot trouble shooting the ball. The Knights are a very accurate squad and can put points on the board in bunches, so expect them to continue to own the series with Tulane.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCF 67, Tulane 55
01/30 10:42:39 ET