CONFERENCES COACHING CHANGES TRANSACTIONS GAMING MATCHUP CURRENT ODDS
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 29, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: BB&T Center (20,737) -- Sunrise, Florida. Television: Fox Sports Net. Home Record: Tulsa 4-1, FSU 4-4. Away Record: Tulsa 1-3, FSU 1-0. Neutral Record: Tulsa 2-1, FSU 2-0. Conference Record: Tulsa 0-0, FSU 0-0. Series Record: Florida State leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane are set to storm into the BB&T Center for this season's Orange Bowl Classic where they will take on the Florida State Seminoles.
Danny Manning's Golden Hurricane improved to 7-5 last Saturday with a 72-68 victory over Oral Roberts. Tulsa lost to Arkansas-Little Rock (72-65) and Creighton (71-54) in the first two stages of its road trip. The Golden Hurricane have been sporadic on the way to their scoring offense average of 67.8 points per game. Defensively, they are holding opponents to 63.7 ppg on 40.4 percent shooting from the floor.
Florida State has shown a steady incline in its performance in recent weeks as it rides a three-game winning streak that includes decisions over Maine (91-59), ULM (63-48), and Charlotte (79-76) into Saturday's action. The Seminoles are still just 7-4 as it lost its previous three games before building its current momentum. Coach Leonard Hamilton's squad came up in the clutch and held its foes to 62.9 ppg to grind out victories last season on its way to a third place finish in the ACC. This season, FSU is allowing 67.3 ppg, but it is scoring six more points per contest itself thanks to 39.6 percent accuracy from beyond the arc.
Florida State has a 3-0 record versus Tulsa in the all-time series. These schools have not squared off since 1982.
Tulsa went into its bout with Oral Roberts trailing by 13 points and then fell behind by 15 in the early stages of the second half. It chipped away to go in front and pick up the victory and finished with a .527 field goal percentage to the Eagles' .362. James Woodard paced the team with 18 points and six rebounds, but Zedric King was the go-to-guy down the stretch with nine points in the final six and a half minutes. The 6-4 Woodard is leading the active players with 14.1 points and 6.1 boards per contest. Senior guard Scottie Haralson is contributing 9.2 points and 2.3 makes from beyond the arc per contest.
The Seminoles had a difficult matchup their last time out as they clashed with a Charlotte team that entered with an 11-1 record. FSU overcame a five-point halftime deficit and took the lead for good with a 10-0 run early in the second period. It shot 44.9 percent from the field to the 49ers' more precise .460 field goal percentage, but Florida State knocked down 9-of-19 from beyond the arc and committed two less turnovers (14:16) to become just the second team to defeat Charlotte this season. Senior guard Michael Snaer led the way with 30 points and Aaron Thomas chimed in with 17. Snaer is producing 15.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest and Okaro White (13.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is also scoring in double figures with regularity. Junior guard Ian Miller (6.7 ppg, 2.6 apg) is most likely not going to be recovered from his bruised foot injury for Saturday.
Even without Miller, the Seminoles are going to hold a talent and athleticism edge over Tulsa. Snaer is playing at an extremely high level right now and none of the Golden Hurricane will be able to slow him down if he stays in the zone. Tulsa will need a big performance out of its interior players to offset FSU's exceptional guard play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida State 71, Tulsa 63
12/29 10:31:27 ET