Feb. 28, 2012
HOUSTON - With only two regular season games remaining, the Tulane men's basketball team is playing for seeding in next week's Conference USA Tournament when they take the court at Hofheinz Pavilion Wednesday to face Houston at 7 p.m. CT.
The Green Wave (15-13, 3-11 C-USA) are two games behind ninth-place Houston (13-14, 5-9 C-USA) in the conference standings and could earn anywhere between the ninth seed or the 12th seed at Memphis next week. Tulane closes out the regular season at home on Saturday against East Carolina, who is tied with the Green Wave in 10th-place.
Tulane, in the midst of the season-long five-game losing streak, are coming off a 73-69 loss at home to Tulsa last Saturday.
Houston has won two of the last three games, including a 62-59 victory over SMU at home on Saturday. The Cougars close out the regular season at Rice this Saturday.
"We are looking forward to the challenge," Tulane head coach Ed Conroy said. "They are a team that plays extremely well at home and have won two of the last three games overall. At home they have been a very difficult team for people to go there and beat. We know we are going to have to play very well."
The Cougars are 5-2 in the conference at home with losses to Memphis and Rice. Ricky Tarrant leads the Green Wave with 15.7 points per game. The seven-time C-USA Freshman of the Week is also the league's leading scorer in conference games with 19.6 per outing. Jordan Callahan is also posting double figures with 12.0 points per contest, while Josh Davis averages 10.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Junior guard Jonathan Simmons leads Houston with 14.7 points per game, while sophomore forward Alandise Harris is posting 12.9 points and 6.1 boards per outing.
Tulane's scoring defense, ranked second in the conference, will be put to the test. Houston is posting 71.6 points per game compared to the Green Wave's defense allowing 60.4 per contest.
The Green Wave won this season's earlier meeting with defense, holding Houston to just 54 points and just over 40 percent shooting from the field. Tulane scored 75 in the victory back on Feb. 4 in Fogelman Arena.
That win gave Tulane a 14-13 lead in the series, but the Cougars have won three straight against the Green Wave in Houston and own a 9-3 series lead in games played at home.
Tulane hosts ECU on Saturday to complete the regular season and will honors seniors Trent Rogers and Dan Monckton prior to the 7 p.m. CT tip in Fogelman Arena.
Tulane (15-13, 3-11 C-USA)
G 2 Ricky Tarrant 6-1 180 Fr. 15.7 ppg 3.8 rpg 3.2 apg
G 3 Trent Rogers 6-3 170 Sr. 4.0 ppg 1.7 rpg 2.3 apg
G 5 Jordan Callahan 6-0 190 Jr. 12.0 ppg 3.1 rpg 2.3 apg
F 00 Josh Davis 6-8 215 So. 10.6 ppg 9.3 rpg 2.3 apg
F 20 Kevin Thomas 6-9 225 So. 2.4 ppg 1.8 rpg 57.7 FG%
Houston (13-14, 5-9 C-USA)
G 00 Joseph Young 6-3 185 Fr. 11.5 ppg 3.6 rpg 85.4 FT%
G 3 J.J. Thompson 6-0 185 Fr. 6.3 ppg 1.9 rpg 2.6apg
G 23 Jonathon Simmons 6-6 195 Jr. 14.7 ppg 5.0 rpg 1.7 apg
F 2 Alandise Harris 6-6 230 So. 12.9 ppg 6.1 rpg 52.3 FG%
F 35 TaShawn Thomas 6-8 215 Fr. 10.6 ppg 8.1 rpg 57.4 FG%