January 22, 1999
Game Data: Tulane (8-7, 2-4 C-USA) returns home for the first time since Jan. 7 to host Houston (7-10, 2-5) . . . The Green Wave is riding a two-game win streak, its longest since winning the first three games of the season . . . Tulane is a perfect 4-0 this season when scoring at least 80 points.
On the Air: The Tulane Basketball Network will broadcast every Tulane regular season game. The flagship station is 50,000-watt WWL-AM 870 in New Orleans. "Voice of the Green Wave" Ken Berthelot is in his 10th year on the men's basketball broadcasts. Additionally, two of Tulane's regular season games will be televised regionally this season. ESPN Regional will carry the Feb. 6 game with South Florida, while ABC-TV will televise the Feb. 21 contest at North Carolina State.
Tulane Head Coach Perry Clark: Perry Clark is in his tenth year as the Green Wave head coach with a record of 161-126 (.561). Clark has guided Tulane to five 20-win seasons and six postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 3 NIT). He was the 1992 National Coach of the Year and a two time Metro Conference Coach of the Year (1991, 1992). Only one other coach in school history has more wins or a longer tenure. He is assisted by Julius Smith, Greg Gary and Kim Lewis. Clark is 3-2 against Houston.
The Series: This afternoon's game is the sixth meeting of the series with Tulane holding a 3-2 advantage. The two schools split a pair of meetings last season with each winning on its home court. Houston prevailed in the last meeting, a 70-62 win on Jan. 29 in Houston. The two schools first met during the 1946-47 campaign. Tulane is 2-0 in games played in New Orleans, 1-2 in Houston and 0-0 in neutral-site games. See page 87 in the Tulane media guide for more series information.
Scouting Houston: The Cougars enter play this afternoon with a 7-10 overall record and a 2-5 C-USA mark after Thursday's 74-57 loss at Southern Miss. As a team, Houston shoots 40.5 percent from the floor, 67.2 percent from the line and is outrebounded by 2.5 boards per game. Individually, UH is led by Gee Gervin, the Conference USA scoring leader, at 21.2 points per game. William Stringfellow leads the Cougars with an 8.8 rebounds per game average.
Breaking Through: The Green Wave put forth its best effort of the season in handing UAB a 16-point loss on Thursday. Bolstered by .579 (11-of-19) shooting in the second half, Tulane shot a season-best .538 from the floor. It was the squad's first road win of the year, and the first since Feb. 25 of last season.
Controlling the Glass: In addition to fine shooting in the win over UAB, the Wave also did a good job of controlling the glass. Tulane held the Blazers to 39 percent shooting for the game and outrebounded UAB 39-29 (including a season-high 30 defensive rebounds). It was Tulane's largest rebounding margin of the year and the fourth time this season that the Wave has outrebounded an opponent. Incidentally, the Wave is 6-1 when shooting better than the opposition.
Knocking 'Em In: The Wave also did a solid job of stepping to the line and converting free throws Thursday night. Tulane shot a season-best .773 from the line against UAB, including 10-of-14 (.714) in the final 4:00 of the second half. Thursday's effort was .134 better than the squad's .639 FT percentage for the season.
Playing Big: Ledaryl Billingsley continues to elevate his game. Against UAB, the Chicago native scored 15 points and added a game-high nine rebounds. Billingsley equaled a team high this season with 13 first-half points. In his last three games, the sophomore forward is averaging 14.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and shooting 64 percent from the floor. Four of his eight double-figure games have come in his last five outings.
Texas Two Step: A pair of Texas natives stepped up for the Wave on Thursday, as Dylan Osean and Sterling Davis were key contributors. Osean, a native of Bedford, tallied a game-high 18 points and passed out four assists, while Davis, a native of Duncanville, scored all 13 of his points in the second half. Davis scored Tulane's first eight points of the second half to push the lead to double figures.
Production From the Point: With a rotation featuring two newcomers, Tulane has been getting solid play from its point guards. In the last five games, freshman Waitari Marsh and Wade Mason have combined to average 13.0 points, 6.6 assists and 4.2 steals.
Still On Top: Despite totaling a season-low five steals in Thursday's game, Tulane still ranks atop Conference USA with its 11.1 steals per game average. Tulane has recorded at least 10 steals in nine of 15 games this season.
The Green Wave plays two games next week against C-USA American Division opponents. Tulane travels to Milwaukee, Wis., for a contest with Marquette on Thursday, Jan.28, before returning home to host DePaul on Saturday, Jan. 30.