Jan. 27, 2012
HOUSTON - Riding a two-game winning streak, the Tulane men's basketball team travels to face Rice on Saturday looking to avenge their last-second loss to the Owls two weeks ago. Tip-off is 7 p.m. CT in Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Green Wave (14-6, 2-4 C-USA) defeated UTEP and SMU in Fogelman Arena to move into a five-way tie for seventh-place in Conference USA. Rice (11-10, 2-4 C-USA) has dropped three straight since the 50-49 victory over Tulane on Jan. 14.
"I'm pleased with our guys and their effort," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "I feel like we are getting better, but have a long way to go and a lot of things to work on. Our guys have really come with great focus and great attitude and the progress has shown on the court."
Ricky Tarrant leads the Green Wave with 13.8 points per game and scored the most points by a freshman in school history with 33 against SMU on Wednesday. Tarrant is joined in double figures by Jordan Callahan's 11.5 and Josh Davis' 10.8. Davis also owns a team-best 9.5 rebounds per game.
As a team, Tulane is shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and are posting 66.8 points per outing. The Green Wave defense is holding opponents to a conference-best 56.5 points per game and has allowed opponents to a 39.0 shooting percentage.
Rice is led by junior forward Arsalan Kazemi with 13.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per contest. Kazemi was the lone Owl in double figures in the previous meeting with 12 points to go with a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Owls are shooting 44.1 percent from the floor this season and are averaging 70.1 points per game.
"Our focus is on ourselves and getting better, not about what happened in the last game against these guys," Conroy said. "I'm sure they've improved since that game and I feel like we have. I'm looking forward to see two teams go at it and compete."
This will be the 48th meeting between the two rivals. Tulane owns a slim 24-23 series lead despite two straight losses to the Owls, including the heartbreaker two weeks ago. Rice owns a 15-7 series lead in games played in Houston, but the Green Wave has won four straight.
Saturday's game marks the annual Coaches vs. Cancer "Suits and Sneakers" weekend. Conroy and his staff will be wearing sneakers on the sideline to support the cause.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
Participating coaches will wear sneakers rather than formal shoes with their suits as a show of support for the event and for the American Cancer Society.
Coaches vs. Cancer participants have raised more than $70 million since 1993 to help fund research and provide information and education.
Tulane will visit Marshall next Wednesday to complete the two-game road swing. The Green Wave and Thundering Herd will tip at 6 p.m. CT in the Cam Henderson Center.
Tulane (14-6, 2-4 C-USA)
G 2 Ricky Tarrant 6-1 180 Fr. 12.8 ppg 4.0 rpg 2.9 apg
G 3 Trent Rogers 6-3 170 Sr. 4.0 ppg 1.7 rpg 2.2 apg
G 5 Jordan Callahan 6-0 190 Jr. 11.3 ppg 3.1 rpg 2.1 apg
F 00 Josh Davis 6-8 215 So. 10.6 ppg 9.4 rpg 2.6 apg
F 34 Tre Drye 6-6 215 Fr. 3.5 ppg 3.3 rpg 56.3 FG%
Rice (11-10, 2-4 C-USA)
G 4 Connor Frizzelle 6-1 191 Sr. 9.1 ppg 1.8 rpg 1.5 apg
G 31 Dylan Ennis 6-2 182 Fr. 7.7 ppg 4.1 rpg 2.3 apg
F 00 Ahmad Ibrahim 6-7 220 Fr. 6.0 ppg 2.1 rpg 1.0 apg
F 12 Jarelle Reischel 6-6 212 Fr. 3.9 ppg 2.3 rpg 0.5 spg
F 14 Arsalan Kazemi 6-7 220 Jr. 13.4 ppg 11.5 rpg 2.4 apg