Jan. 18, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane Green Wave basketball team will look to pick up its first Conference USA home win this season when it opens a two-game home stand this Saturday at 5 p.m. against Rice at Fogelman Arena.
Tulane (11-6, 1-2 C-USA) is 8-3 in its last 11 games and has an overall record of 7-1 at home this season. However, the Green Wave dropped its last game, the conference home opener to UAB, 62-61, in the final seconds. TU will look to begin a win streak against the Owls after upending Tulsa earlier this week to snap a two-game skid. A Wave victory will also push the team's league record to .500 this season.
During its eight wins, the Green Wave has put together three straight wins on two occasions, including one stretch of four-consecutive victories, before suffering back-to-back losses to UAB and Southern Miss.
In its eight home games this season, Tulane is averaging 72.7 points per contest, while limiting its opponents to 62.4 points per outing. TU is also shooting nearly 47 percent on its home floor compared to just 37.2 percent by its visitors.
For the year, Tulane is averaging 68.1 points and 35.4 rebounds per game and is shooting 44.6 percent from the field, 32.8 percent from behind the three-point line and 74.7 percent from the free-throw line.
David Gomez is one of three Green Wave players scoring in double figures with 13.6 points per game, while Kevin Sims and Robinson Louisme are second and third with 12.3 and 10.7 points per outing, respectively. Gomez and Louisme are also the team's top rebounders with 5.9 boards per game apiece, while Sims leads the squad in assists and steals with 3.9 and 1.6 per contest, respectively.
Rice (3-13, 0-3 C-USA) lost the services of two-time Conference USA Player of the Year and All-American, Morris Almond, who completed his eligibility and now plays in the NBA with the Utah Jazz, and helped Rice to 69 victories over the last four years. The Owls were selected to finish in 11th place according to the Conference USA preseason coaches poll after an eighth-place showing a year ago.
Rice enters Saturday's game at Tulane in the midst of a six-game losing streak and has lost eight out of its last nine games. The Owls' last win was over TCU, 70-65, at home on Dec. 29.
Rice is 1-6 on the road this season and has lost five consecutive decisions since posting a win at Texas State, 88-81, on Dec. 5. The Owls lost their lone C-USA road game this season to UTEP (71-43).
Rice is averaging 55.4 points and 37.3 rebounds per game and is shooting 36.3 percent from the field, including 26.6 percent from behind the three-point line and 63.4 percent from the foul line. Paulius Packevicius is the Owls' lone double figure scorer with 10.8 point per outing and also leads the team in rebounding with 9.7 boards per contest.
Saturday's game marks the 39th all-time meeting between Tulane and Rice, and the Owls leads the series, 21-17. However, TU owns a 13-6 advantage in New Orleans.
Tulane and Rice first met in 1916 and have met at least one time in eight different decades. The lone 10-year absence was during the 1920s. The series is tied at 2-2 since Rice became a Conference USA member in 2005-06. The Green Wave has won 10 out of its last 11 home games against Rice since 1960. The lone loss was a 60-57 setback at Fogelman Arena on Jan. 14, 2006, the first-ever meeting between the two teams as C-USA members.
Tulane closes out a two-game home stand on Wednesday, January 23 against SMU at Fogelman Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. The contest will mark TU's final game for 17 days.