Tulsa (14-9) at Texas-El Paso (10-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 8th, 9:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Don Haskins Center (12,000) -- El Paso, Texas. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Tulsa 8-4, UTEP 8-4. Away Record: Tulsa 5-3, UTEP 0-8. Neutral Record: Tulsa 1-2, UTEP 2-1. Conference Record: Tulsa 7-2, UTEP 3-6. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 28-16.
GAME NOTES: The Texas-El Paso Miners will attempt to end their four-game losing skid as they square off with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in Conference USA action at the Don Haskins Center.
This will be the 45th meeting in the all-time series and second meeting this season. Tulsa holds a 28-16 advantage after winning the first encounter this year, 59-48, at the Donald Reynolds Center. The Golden Hurricane won the first battle with UTEP this year by going 14-of-17 from the charity stripe, while the Miners managed to go only 4-of-6 from the foul line in the contest.
Tulsa was 0-2 in league play entering the Jan. 11th matchup between these programs. Since then, the Golden Hurricane has gone 7-0 in league play with an average margin of victory of 8.9 points. In its 79-70 victory over the Marshall Thunder Herd on Saturday, Tulsa shot a season-high 56.5 percent from the field and was one of just three teams to outrebound Marshall this season. The victory made the Golden Hurricane 14-9 overall. Head coach Doug Wojcik tied the school record for victories with the program as he has won 137 times since taking over the helm of the program.
Jordan Clarkson is leading Tulsa with 15.9 ppg on 43.8 percent shooting from the floor. The sophomore guard had his second-straight 20-point game with 21 points. It was the 20th consecutive double-figures scoring outing for Clarkson as well. Scottie Haralson is the Golden Hurricane's second leading scorer with 11.1 ppg. Haralson went 1-of-5 from beyond the arc against Marshall after going 11-of-17 from three-point range in his previous two games. Sophomore forward Tim Peete contributed a career-high 14 points in the victory over the Thundering Herd, and Steven Idlet chipped in 16 points.
The Miners come in with a 10-13 overall record and in a four-way tie for eighth place in the conference with a 3-6 mark in C-USA action. UTEP lost 61-60 to UAB its last time out, which extended its losing streak to four- straight games. Head coach Tim Floyd will need to emphasize rebounding, as his squad has been beat on the boards in each of its last three outings. The Miners average 65.2 ppg and have held opponents to 64.0 ppg.
UTEP will look to Gabriel McCulley, Michael Perez, and John Bohannon to help them snap their losing streak. McCulley is the squad's leading scorer with an average of 12.2 ppg. The senior forward scored his career-high 23 points a week ago versus Rice, but was held to nine by UAB. Perez also had a disappointing performance against the Blazers as his streak of six-straight double-digit scoring finishes ended when he netted only five points. Bohannan will try to ride his career-high 22 point performance from Saturday into tonight. The sophomore center is the team's top rebounder with an average of 7.4 boards per game.
Although UTEP's record is unimpressive, it is a much better team that it appears to be on paper. Many of the Miners' losses have been in close, hard- fought battles. Floyd's team could be 15-8 right now if it had done a better job closing out games. With that being said, the Miners will need to either jump out to a big lead, or need someone to step into the limelight and become a closer. The Golden Hurricane will need Clarkson to keep scorching the nets to keep their winning streak alive.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 76, Texas-El Paso 70
02/08 10:32:37 ET