Game Preview: TU Returns Home To Host ECU

Tuesday, February 17th 2015, 4:01 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa men's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for a three-game homestand, beginning with a contest against East Carolina at 6 p.m. Wednesday on ESPNU.

The Golden Hurricane (17-7, 10-2 American) looks to stop a two-game skid against ECU. After winning 12 straight games, TU fell to No. 21 SMU, 68-57, and at UConn, 70-45. The Hurricane is 9-3 at home this season, and defeated ECU 66-64 in Greenville on Jan. 24. The Pirates (11-14, 4-8 American) have won two of their last three games, and are 0-9 in road games this year.

TULSA (17-7, 10-2 American) vs. EAST CAROLINA (11-14, 4-8 American)

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 • 6:01 p.m. • Donald W. Reynolds Center (8,355)

TV: ESPNU (Eamon McAnaney and Jon Crispin)

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: 222-136 (11th year) Record at Tulsa: 17-7 (first year)

East Carolina: Jeff Lebo (North Carolina, '89)

Career Record: 295-231 (17th year) Record at ECU: 84-77 (fifth year)

The Series

This is the 15th meeting between Tulsa and East Carolina. Tulsa leads the series, 12-2. The Golden Hurricane has won three in a row in the series, including a 66-64 victory over the Pirates in Greenville on Jan. 24. TU won last season, 76-58, in Tulsa. The teams split two meetings in 2012-13 – East Carolina won 72-63 in Tulsa, and the Hurricane won 79-72 in the C-USA Tournament at the BOK Center. The Hurricane won eight in a row from 2007-12. The only other series win by the Pirates came in the first contest between the schools as members of Conference USA, 59-45, in Greenville in 2006. Tulsa won the very first meeting, 86-63, in 1984 in Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane has won 12 meetings by an average of 10.8 points. Tulsa is 5-1 all-time against ECU at home.

About East Carolina

The Pirates are led in scoring by Terry Whisnant, who averages 12.9 points, B.J. Tyson, who scores 12.6 points, and Caleb White, who averages 12.0 points per game. East Carolina averages 64.2 points and 32.5 rebounds per game, shooting .422 from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. The Pirates allow 65.0 points and 34.8 rebounds, a .438 field goal percentage, and a .292 3-point shooting percentage.

Quick Hits

• Tulsa averages 65.5 points and 37.1 rebounds, and a .417 field goal percentage and .314 3-point percentage. TU allows opponents 61.2 points and 33.8 rebounds per game, and a .402 field goal percentage and a .336 3-point shooting percentage.

• Tulsa fell to UConn, 70-45, on Thursday. Marquel Curtis led the Golden Hurricane with 15 points and six rebounds, while Rashad Smith and D'Andre Wright scored 10 points each.

• In conference play, Tulsa is outscoring opponents by an average of 64.2-58.9. The Hurricane has shot .410 from the field, while holding opponents to a .405 field goal percentage, and has outrebounded opponents by a 36.9-34.0 margin.

• In conference games, Tulsa ranks third in The American in scoring margin (+5.2 ppg) and second in rebounds (36.9). Shaquille Harrison ranks third in the league with 14.0 points per game in conference play, and James Woodard follows with 13.8 points per outing. Harrison ranks second with 2.1 steals per conference game.

• Woodard ranks 20th in Tulsa career scoring with 1,254 points in 90 career games (13.9 average). Shaquille Harrison ranks tied for eighth with 162 career steals, and Brandon Swannegan is sixth at TU with 104 career blocks.

• Tulsa's 17-7 record under first-year head coach Frank Haith is the program's best record through 24 games in a head coach's first season since 2001-02 when TU started 20-4 in John Phillips' first year.

• Tulsa has won seven road contests this season, including six in conference play. TU won seven consecutive road games from Dec. 7-Feb. 5.

• The Hurricane is 13-0 when leading at halftime, 14-0 when it out-shoots its opponent, and 14-0 when it holds opponents to fewer than 65 points.

• Tulsa has held 21 of its 24 opponents this season under 50 percent shooting from the field, and 53 of its last 58 opponents, dating back to last year. TU has also held 11 opponents below 40 percent shooting.