Jan. 6, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane basketball team begins its 14th season of Conference USA basketball this Wednesday when the Green Wave opens the 2009 C-USA campaign on the road in Greenville, N.C. against East Carolina at 6 p.m. CST.
The Green Wave (6-7) concluded its non-conference slate with a loss at Auburn last Saturday, but won its last conference game dating back to last season's regular season finale, which was a 77-75 victory over East Carolina.
Junior Kevin Sims leads the Wave in scoring with 12.2 points per game and assists with 3.8 per outing, while senior Robinson Louisme is the team's second-leading scorer with 9.5 points per contest and top rebounder with 6.8 boards per outing.
East Carolina (8-5) is coming off an 11-19 season a year ago in which it posted a 10th place finish in the Conference USA race. However, the Pirates opened the season with a sizzling 7-1 start. After posting a 3-0 record to begin the season, ECU suffered its first loss to George Mason, but the Pirates rebounded with four straight victories. After such a strong start, East Carolina suffered four straight losses to complete its non-conference schedule. The Pirates are 6-2 overall at home this season with losses to George Mason (77-71) and Wake Forest (95-54).
Sam Hinnant leads four players in double figure scoring with 15.5 points per game, while James Legan is second (13.5) and Brock Young is third (11.2). Darrius Morrow ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.1) and is also the team's leading rebounder with 7.9 boards per outing.
Saturday's game marks the 10th meeting between Tulane and East Carolina and the Green Wave leads the series, 8-1. TU has an all-time record of 3-1 in Greenville and has won the three contests by an average of 12.7 points. The Wave's lone loss in the series was its first-ever game at ECU on Feb. 18, 2004, falling to the Pirates, 76-66. Wednesday's game marks the first-ever meeting between Tulane and East Carolina in a C-USA opener.
Tulane returns to Fogelman Arena on Saturday, January 10 to host Rice in the conference home opener for the Wave at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Cox Sports Television of New Orleans, Channel 315.