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TU MBB Preview: TU Travels To Take On Houston

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HOUSTON, Texas -

The Tulsa men's basketball team hits the road for a Thursday contest at American Athletic Conference rival Houston at 6 p.m. at Hofheinz Pavilion. The game will be televised by ESPNews.

The Golden Hurricane (16-5, 9-0 American) is coming off of a 78-71 overtime victory over USF on Saturday. TU enters Thursday's contest on an 11-game win streak, and is 9-2 on the road this season. The Cougars have won two straight, defeating Rice (59-48) and UConn (70-68), and are 7-5 at home this year. This is the second meeting this season between Tulsa and Houston. The Hurricane won 72-54 on Jan. 4 in Tulsa.

TULSA (16-5, 9-0 American) vs. Houston (9-12, 1-8 American)

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2015 • 6:02 p.m. • Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479)

TV: ESPNews

The Coaches

Tulsa: Frank Haith (Elon '88)

Career Record: 221-134 (11th year) Record at Tulsa: 16-5 (first year)

Houston: Kelvin Sampson (UNC Pembroke, '78)

Career Record: 509-282 (26th year) Record at Houston: 9-12 (first year)

The Series

This is the 46th meeting between Tulsa and Houston. Tulsa leads the series, 24-21. The Golden Hurricane has won the last four meetings in the series, including a 72-54 victory in Tulsa on Jan. 4. TU won twice in 2012-13 – 87-72 in Houston and 101-92 in triple overtime in Tulsa. The Hurricane 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. 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 9-12 all-time against the Cougars at home.

About Houston

The Cougars are led in scoring by Jherrod Stiggers, who averages 15.0 points and 3.3 3-pointers per game. Danrad Knowles averages 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds, and Devonta Pollard puts up 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest, while L.J. Rose leads the team with 3.8 assists, and adds 9.4 points per outing. Houston averages 66.2 points and 35.7 rebounds per game, shooting .388 from the field and 32 percent from 3-point range. The Cougars allow 67.6 points and 38.4 rebounds, a .427 field goal percentage, and a .330 3-point shooting percentage.

Quick Hits

• Tulsa averages 67.3 points and 37.4 rebounds, and a .427 field goal percentage and .317 3-point percentage. TU allows opponents 61.3 points and 33.4 rebounds per game, and a .398 field goal percentage and a .339 3-point shooting percentage.

• Tulsa defeated USF, 78-71, in overtime on Saturday. Rashad Smith led the Golden Hurricane with 21 points, and Brandon Swannegan tallied 12 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. Five TU players scored in double figures, as James Woodard scored 16 points, Shaquille Harrison tallied 12 points and nine rebounds, and Rashad Ray put up 13 points and seven assists.

• Tulsa received votes in the national top-25 polls for the second straight week on Feb. 3. The Hurricane received eight votes in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll.

• In conference play, Tulsa is outscoring opponents by an average of 67.9-58.3. The Hurricane has shot .429 from the field, while holding opponents to a .397 field goal percentage, and has outrebounded opponents by a 37.4-33.1 margin.

• In conference games, Tulsa ranks second in The American in scoring (67.9 ppg) and third in scoring defense (58.3 ppg). Harrison ranks second in league games with 16.6 points per game, and Woodard ranks fourth with 15.6 points per game. Harrison averages 2.0 steals per conference game, tied for first in the league.

• Ray ranks first in The American with a 2.5 assist/turnover ratio, while Harrison leads the league with 1.8 steals per game.

• Woodard has moved into the top-20 in Tulsa career scoring. He ranks 20th with 1,228 points in 87 career games (14.1 average). Shaquille Harrison ranks ninth with 155 career steals.

• Swannegan is now sixth at TU with 103 career blocks. He tallied five blocks against USF to move up from eighth, passing Ben Uzoh (99 blocks from 2006-10) and Anthony Price (101 blocks from 2002-06).

• Tulsa's 9-0 start in conference play is its best since the 1968-69 team started league play 10-0. The 16-5 record is also TU's best 21-game record since the 2009-10 team posted a 17-4 record in its first 21 contests.

• Tulsa's 16-5 record under first-year head coach Frank Haith is the program's best record through 21 games in a head coach's first season since 2001-02 when TU started 17-4 in John Phillips' first year.

• Over the course of its 11-game win streak, the Hurricane has outscored opponents 69.2-58.4. TU has shot .437 from the field, held opponents to .391 from the field, and outrebounded foes, 37.9-33.2.

• Tulsa has won six straight road contests this season. It is just the third time a TU team has won six consecutive road games in a season.

• The Hurricane is 13-0 when leading at halftime, 13-0 when it out-shoots its opponent, and 13-0 when it holds opponents to fewer than 65 points.

• Tulsa has held 19 of its 21 opponents this season under 50 percent shooting from the field, and 51 of its last 55 opponents, dating back to last year. Only Oklahoma State (11/26) and USF (1/31) have shot 50 percent or better from the field against TU this season.

• The Hurricane has won 20 straight games against conference opponents (including conference tournament), dating back to last season. That is the longest streak in program history. It has also won 17 straight regular season conference games, matching the best streak in school history – a run over three seasons from 1918-21.

• Tulsa went 8-0 in the month of January. The 8-0 record is the most wins in an unbeaten month since TU went 10-0 in January 1985.

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