Feb. 17, 2009
NEW ORLEANS -For the second time in exactly two weeks, the Tulane men's hoops team and the UAB Blazers face off on the hardwood in Conference USA play when the two teams meet this Wednesday at Fogelman Arena at 7 p.m.
Tulane (10-14, 4-7 C-USA) is 2-1 in its last three home games with wins over then second-place Tulsa (76-75, OT) and East Carolina (73-64), with its loss coming to UCF (79-74, OT). TU is 8-4 at home this season, including 3-2 in Conference USA play, and is coming off a victory over East Carolina in its last home game on Feb. 11.
Tulane has won a combined 29 games on it come floor the last three seasons, including 10+ win campaigns the last two years, and has three games remaining in the season to reach the 10-win plateau for the third straight season.
The Wave is averaging 71.8 points per game at home this season (7.5 points better than its season average), while holding its opponents to 64.3 points per contest. TU has scored 80+ points twice (87 vs. Albany State; 88 vs. North Carolina A&T) and held seven opponents to 65 or fewer points on its home floor this season.
Sims leads TU in scoring with 12.2 points per game and assists with 3.8 per outing, while sophomore Kris Richard and Robinson Louisme are second and third in scoring with 10.8 and 10.1 points per contest respectively. Louisme is also the top rebounder with 6.7 boards per outing.
UAB (17-8, 7-3 C-USA) joins nationally ranked Memphis and Houston as Conference USA's hottest teams. The Tigers have won 16 straight games, while both the Cougars and the Blazers have four consecutive wins. In fact, UAB has won seven out of its last eight decisions with its only loss a one-point, 75-74, setback at Tulsa on Jan. 28.
The Blazers are 5-6 overall on the road this season, including 2-3 in C-USA games. UAB is 2-1 in its last three road outings with wins at Southern Miss (66-49) and Marshall (75-73, OT), and the lone loss at Tulsa.
Robert Vaden leads three UAB players in double figure scoring with 18.2 points, while Paul Delaney III and Lawrence Kinnard are second and third with 16.8 and 15.1 points per contest, respectively. Kinnard is also the team's top rebounder with 9.1 boards per outing.
Kevin Sims has chance to reach an historic milestone, and achieve an accomplishment no Tulane junior has reached in the last decade. Sims enters the UAB game just 17 points shy of the 1,000-point plateau with 983 career points. With a 12.2 scoring average, he could surpass the mark in the Green Wave's next two games, and will become the 30th player in school history to score 1,000 points, but the first junior to reach the milestone since LeVeldro Simmons (1992-96) in 1994-95.
Wednesday's game marks the 30th all-time meeting between Tulane and UAB, and the Blazers lead the series, 12-17. Tulane leads the series in New Orleans, 7-6, but has lost its last two outings against the Blazers on its home floor. The Wave's last win at Fogelman Arena vs. UAB came on Jan. 19, 2005. The Green Wave's last win in the series came at UAB, 76-74, on March 3, 2007.
The Green Wave continues a two-game home stand vs. Marshall on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 3:30 p.m. A Mardi Gras special ticket package is available for the weekend of Feb. 21-22 and includes Saturday's men's basketball game vs. Marshall, the Wave women's basketball game vs. UCF at 1 p.m., the baseball doubleheader vs. LeMoyne at noon and Sunday's baseball game vs. Le Moyne for only $20.00. This package is offered for those fans who prefer the family friendly atmosphere of Tulane on-campus home events during Mardi Gras weekend.