Feb. 13, 2009
NEW ORLEANS -The Tulane men's hoops team will be on the defensive this Saturday when it treks to Houston and faces Conference USA's top scoring offense in the Cougar' vaunted attack that averages 78 points per game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Green Wave's (10-13, 4-6 C-USA) scoring defense ranks fifth among C-USA schools in league play (69.1), has held five league opponents to 65 or fewer points this season.
Tulane will also look to snap a two-game skid on the road after back-to-back losses last week at UAB (81-61) and in overtime at Marshall (89-86). TU's last win on the road came in Houston against Rice, 61-59, courtesy of a buzzer-beating lay-up by Kevin Sims on Jan. 28.
Sims leads TU in scoring with 12.3 points per game and assists with 3.9 per outing, while senior Robinson Louisme and sophomore Kris Richard are tied for second in scoring with 10.3 points per contest apiece. Louisme is also the top rebounder with 6.7 boards per outing.
Houston (15-7, 6-3 C-USA) opened league play with a 3-1 mark before dropping three straight contests, including an out-of-league game at Arizona (1/24). Since an 83-68 loss at nationally-ranked Memphis on Jan. 31, the Cougars have reeled off three straight wins and enter Saturday's contest with Tulane sitting in a third place tie with UAB in the C-USA standings.
Houston is 9-2 overall on its home floor this season, including 3-1 in league games. The Cougars are off to a 3-0 start during the month of February.
Aubrey Coleman is one of four UH players averaging double figures with 20 points per game, followed by Kelvin Lewis (18.8), Marcus Cousin (11.9) and Qa'rraan Calhoun (11.1). Cousin is also the team's leading rebounder with 9.3 boards per outing.
When Tulane takes the floor at Houston this Saturday, a pair of Green Wave players will be returning their home state, but more importantly near their hometowns. Freshman Trent Rogers hails from Houston and prepped at Strake Jesuit High school, while sophomore Kris Richard is a native of Beaumont, Texas, which is located just over an hour east of Houston, is a product of Ozen High School.
Saturday's game marks the 23rd all-time meeting between Tulane and Houston, and the series is tied, 11-11. Tulane has a 3-7 overall record at Houston, and will be looking for its first win at Hofheinz Pavilion since a 63-61 victory on Jan. 26, 2005. Prior to an 82-57 loss to Houston on Jan. 25, 2006, the Green Wave won five straight against the Cougars' from 2003-05, TU's longest win streak in the series.
The Green Wave returns home and hosts a pair of games next week against UAB on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., and vs. Marshall on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 3:30 p.m.