TU boarded a plane to Tampa early Friday, looking to continue its 6-game winning streak Saturday morning against the University of South Florida. The Golden Hurricane is currently 11-5 overall and 4-0 in conference play, while the Bulls are 7-10 overall and 1-3 in conference. Also, TU is 3-2 on the road this season, while the Bulls are 6-4 at home.
So far, TU has been very humble about its winning streak. "We go into practice every day. We don't take any days off. You've just got to be very humble. It's truly a blessing, because you could play a great game, and any night you can take a loss. But, we just stay focused, so that's a lot of growth from last year. We've just got to keep pushing," said Golden Hurricane guard Rashad Smith.
Tulsa is coming off a big win over UConn, (the national defending champs), where TU won 66-58. James Woodard led TU with 21 points and six rebounds.
Saturday's game will be the first time TU has ever faced USF.
Tulsa's 4-0 conference record is a team-best since the 2010 season when it started at 5-0. During TU's 6-game winning streak, it has outscored all opponents 64.2- 55.5 points.
Shaquille Harrison is TU's leading scorer. Overall, he is the fourth leading scorer in the American Athletic Conference, averaging 15.4 points per game. He currently leads the league in conference games, averaging 19 points per game. Harrison has scored more than 20 points in five straight games (from December 10-31). He is the first Tulsa player to score at least 20 points in five consecutive games. His streak came to an end January 4, when the team took on Houston. Harrison fell two points shy of 20, but still managed to score at least 17 in a nine-game stretch from December 3- January 10. He also leads the team in assists this season with 52.
Along with Harrison, Woodard (fifth leading scorer in the conference, averaging 15.2 points per game), Marquel Curtis, D'Andre Wright, Rashad Ray, and Smith also put up good numbers for their team. The super six combine for 92.4 percent of the team's points, 70.1 percent of the team's rebounds, 97 percent of the team's assists, and 92.1 percent of the team's steals.
“They have really good guard play, and solid big guys that contribute. It's going to be a good challenge for us,” said USF head coach Orlando Antigua, (about TU).
If TU plays with the same intensity it played with against UConn, the team should be able to advance to a 7-game winning streak.
The game is set to tip off at 10:00 a.m., and it will stream live on ESPNU.