Jan. 30, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - For the second time in 10 days, the Tulane men's basketball squad will play host to Conference USA's second place team when UCF comes to Fogelman Arena this Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest. Tickets for the game are available online at TulaneGreenWave.com, in person at the Tulane Ticket Office, located inside the James W. Wilson Jr. Center, or by calling (504) 861-WAVE (9283).
Exactly 10 days ago, Tulsa came into a road contest at Tulane (9-10, 3-3 C-USA) sitting in second place in the league standings. The Green Wave promptly knocked the Golden Hurricane down a notch with a 76-75 overtime victory. After opening league play with a 1-3 mark, Tulane has rebounded with back-to-back wins and will look to post its third straight victory for the first time this season on Saturday.
Tulane is 7-3 at home this season, including 2-1 in Conference USA play, after its upset victory over Tulsa in its last home outing. The Wave is averaging 71.5 points per game at home this season (7.5 points better than its season average), while holding its opponents to 62.9 points per contest. TU has scored 80+ points twice (87 vs. Albany State; 88 vs. North Carolina A&T) and has held six opponents to 65 or fewer points on its home floor this season.
Tulane is the second ranked team in steals during league play with 8.67 per game, while sophomore Kris Richard is the league's steals leader during C-USA contests with 2.5 per contest. Junior Kevin Sims leads TU in scoring with 11.4 points per game and assists with 3.9 per outing, while senior Robinson Louisme is the team's leading rebounder with 6.5 boards per outing.
The Tulane coaching staff is joining every NCAA school around the nation this weekend in the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers Weekend. TU's staff will wear white sneakers with their game attire vs. UCF to help raise awareness about the disease and promote the American Cancer Society as a place for people facing cancer to turn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for free information and help. Suits and Sneakers will unite coaches from across the country in the common effort to raise cancer awareness in their communities.
UCF (14-6, 4-2 C-USA) marches into Fogelman Arena riding a four-game win streak, and has won nine out of its last 11 contests. The Golden Knights' lone loss the last month was at home to nationally ranked Memphis and on the road at UAB. UCF is 2-3 on the road this season, including 1-1 in Conference USA games. The Knights captured a 77-52 victory at Rice for its lone league win away from home this season.
One of the top players this season in C-USA, Jermaine Taylor leads UCF's scoring attack with 23.7 points per game, while Tony Davis is the club's top rebounder with 7.0 boards per contest.
Tulane junior Kevin Sims currently has 305 career assists and is just four shy of breaking into the school's top-10 career leaders. Sims has his sights set on catching Tom Hicks' (1974-76) 10th place total of 309. Sims had his streak consecutive assist streak snapped in his 81st career game this past Wednesday at Rice.
Saturday's game marks the fifth meeting between Tulane and UCF, and the Golden Knights lead the series, 3-2. Tulane leads the series between the teams in New Orleans with a 2-1 edge. The last meeting in the Crescent City took place on Valentine's Day 2007 with the Green Wave besting the Knights, 86-80.
Tulane hits the road for back-to-back road games next week with the first stop at UAB on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m., and the Green Wave treks to Marshall on Saturday, Feb. 7 for a 4 p.m. game on CBS College Sports.