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MBB Preview: TU Set To Play Houston In American Conference Home Opener

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa men's basketball team will play its American Athletic Conference home opener against Houston at 1:00 p.m. Sunday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

The Golden Hurricane (8-5, 1-0 American) is coming off of a 56-54 victory at UCF on Wednesday. TU enters Sunday's contest on a three-game win streak, including two wins in a row at home. The Cougars (7-5, 0-1 American) are coming off a 73-54 defeat to Memphis on Wednesday, and have won two of their last three games.

TULSA (8-5, 1-0 American) vs. Houston (7-5, 0-1 American)

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 • 1:05 p.m. • Donald W. Reynolds Center (8,355)

TV: ESPNews (Eamon McAnaney and Malcolm Huckaby)

Radio: News 102.3 and AM 740 KRMG and the Golden Hurricane Radio Network (Bruce Howard and Rick Couri)

The Coaches

Tulsa: Frank Haith (Elon '88)

Career Record: 213-134 (11th year) Record at Tulsa: 8-5 (first year)

Houston: Kelvin Sampson (UNC Pembroke, '78)

Career Record: 507-275 (26th year) Record at Houston: 7-5 (first year)

The Series

This is the 45th meeting between Tulsa and Houston . . . Tulsa leads the series, 23-21 . . . the Golden Hurricane has won the last three meetings in the series, including two in the 2012-13 season – 87-72 in Houston and 101-92 in triple overtime in Tulsa . . . TU also won 72-48 in Tulsa in 2012 after Houston took a 70-69 overtime win in Houston that year, the Cougars' last victory in the series . . . the teams alternated wins over four games prior to Tulsa's three-game win streak in the series – TU won 86-80 in 2010 in Houston, UH won 64-57 in Houston in 2011, and TU won 76-71 in overtime at home later in 2011 . . . the schools played 12 times from 2006-13 as members of Conference USA, and the Hurricane won seven of those meetings . . . the series dates back to 1951 when the Golden Hurricane won 50-45 in Houston and 60-44 in Tulsa . . . TU is 13-8 all-time against the Cougars at home.

About Houston

The Cougars are led in scoring by Jherrod Stiggers, who averages 16.8 points per game. L.J. Rose averages 10.0 points and 5.2 assists per game, while Devonta Pollard averages 12.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. Houston averages 70.5 points and 39.9 rebounds per game, shooting .390 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range. The Cougars allow 67.5 points and 38.6 rebounds, a .408 field goal percentage, and a .322 3-point shooting percentage.

Quick Hits

• Tulsa averages 66.0 points and 37.0 rebounds, and a .421 field goal percentage and .338 3-point percentage. TU allows opponents 62.8 points and 33.9 rebounds per game, and a .398 field goal percentage and a .348 3-point shooting percentage.

• Tulsa defeated UCF, 56-54, on Wednesday. Shaquille Harrison led the Golden Hurricane with 22 points on 9-of-13 field goals. James Woodard scored 14 points, and Rashad Smith added eight points and eight rebounds.

• The Hurricane is playing its first home conference game in the American Athletic Conference.

• In his last five games, Harrison has averaged 22.8 points, 4.2 assists and a .573 field goal percentage. In his last three games, he has shot .674 (29-of-43) from the field. He has averaged 21.1 points in his last seven games.

• Six TU players – Woodard, Harrison, Marquel Curtis, D'Andre Wright, Rashad Ray and Rashad Smith – have been responsible for 90.9 percent of the team's points, 69.4 percent of the rebounds, 96.5 percent of the assists and 91.8 percent of the steals, while totaling 84 percent of the total minutes played. All six players average 7.0 ppg and 20 minutes per game.

• Harrison and Ray have combined for 87 assists – 60 percent of the team's assists this season. In their last eight games, the point guards have combined for 59 assists and just 20 turnovers. Harrison leads TU with 47 assists (3.6 apg), and Ray has tallied 40 assists (3.1 apg).

• Harrison and Woodard are two of the top six scorers in the American Athletic Conference. Harrison is tied for fourth at 14.8 points per game, and Woodard ranks sixth as 14.7 ppg.

• Harrison leads the Hurricane and ranks fourth in The American with a .523 field goal percentage. He also ranks first in steals (1.8) and sixth in assists (3.6).

• Brandon Swannegan leads TU with 19 blocks, 1.5 per game, and has recorded at least one block in 10 games. He ranks fifth in The American in blocks per game.

• Woodard leads Tulsa with 32 made 3-pointers. He ranks second in The American with 2.5 made threes per game.

• Harrison and Swannegan have moved into the top-10 on the Tulsa career charts for steals and blocks, respectively. Harrison has totaled 141 steals in his career, ranking 10th in the category, while Swannegan ranks ninth with 88 career blocks.

• Tulsa will make four trips across the country in the first month of conference play. Including its game at UCF on Dec. 31, the Hurricane will mix visits to Temple on Jan. 10, USF on Jan. 17 and East Carolina on Jan. 24 with home games against Houston on Jan. 4, UConn on Jan. 13 and Memphis on Jan. 21.

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