Jan. 9, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane basketball team opens the home portion of its 2009 Conference USA schedule this Saturday at 2 p.m. against the Rice Owls at Fogelman Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Cox Sports Television of New Orleans, Channel 37.
Tulane (6-8, 0-1 C-USA) is 5-2 at home this season and is coming off a 72-37 shellacking of Grambling State in its last game at Fogelman Arena on Dec. 29. The Wave is averaging 74.3 points per game at home this season (10 points better than its season average), while holding its opponents to 62.7 points per contest, and has scored 80+ points twice (87 vs. Albany State; 88 vs. North Carolina A&T).
Junior Kevin Sims leads TU in scoring with 11.5 points per game and assists with 3.8 per outing, while senior Robinson Louisme is the team's second-leading scorer with 9.2 points per game and top rebounder with 6.5 boards per outing.
Rice (5-9) opens its first Conference USA campaign under first-year head coach Ben Braun this Saturday against Tulane. The Owls enter the Tulane game 1-4 in road contests this season, and comes into Fogelman Arena mired in a two-game skid, and has dropped four of its last five decisions to conclude its regular season non-conference slate. Rice's last win was on the road was at Arkansas-Little Rock, 79-72, on Dec. 28.
Cory Pflieger is one of two Owls averaging double figure scoring with 11.1 points per contest, while Rodney Foster is second on the team with 10.7 points per outing. Aleks Perka leads the Owls' rebounding effort with 4.9 boards per contest.
Saturday's game marks the 31st meeting between Tulane and Rice and the Owls lead the series, 21-19. Tulane has an all-time record of 14-6 against Rice in New Orleans and has won its last two home contests vs. the Owls. TU brings a three-game win streak into Saturday's game, and hasn't dropped a game to the Owls since a 75-70 overtime loss in the 2006-07 Conference USA opener at Rice. The Green Wave has a record of 4-2 since the Owls became a Conference USA member in 2005-06.
Tulane will host Southern Miss at Fogelman Arena on Wednesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. The Green Wave has faced the Golden Eagles more times than any Conference USA opponent. Wednesday's game will mark the 67th meeting in the all-time series. The two schools have met regularly since 1948 and have been members of both the Metro Conference and C-USA. TU leads the series, 39-27.