The Tulane Green Wave (15-8, 3-6) and the UTEP Miners (11-13, 4-6) get together tonight in a Conference USA matchup at the Don Haskins Center. Tipoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. MT, and members from the 1991-92 UTEP team that reached the Sweet 16 will be honored at halftime.
The Miners and the Green Wave have met 9 times previously, with the Miners holding a 6-3 advantage, including a 4-0 mark in games played in El Paso. UTEP coach Tim Floyd is 4-2 all time versus Tulane, including a 2-1 record against them as coach of the Miners.
The two teams last met on January 21st at Fogelman Arena in New Orleans. While the game was close most of the way, the Green Wave used a 10-2 in the second half to open up a 5 point lead, and they never gave it back. That night Tulane handed the Miners a 66-58 loss, which started the Miners' recent 4 game skid.
Tulane comes into the contest at 15-8 overall, but only 3-6 in conference play. They are also 0-4 on the road in Conference USA. The Wave had Wednesday off, but knocked off Houston 75-54 last Saturday. Before that, Tulane fell to both Rice and Marshall on the road by 14 and 19 points.
Freshman G Ricky Turrant leads the way for the Wave, and he has absolutely burst onto the scene. He is averaging 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, and has really carried the team since star F Kendall Timmons went out 7 games ago. Since that time Tarrant has averaged 19 points a game.
Other players to look out for tonight include junior G Jordan Callahan, sophomore F Josh Davis, and 7-0' junior C Thomas Bruha. Callahan is averaging 12 points and 3.3 rebounds a game, Davis averages 10.7 points and 9.4 rebound a game, and Bruha chips in with 7.2 points and 5.1 rebounds a contest.
The Miners come into the contest at 11-13 overall, and 4-6 in conference play. They had seemed to have the ship sailing in the right direction after improving to 10-9 on the season a few weeks ago, but a road trip to New Orleans sent them into a downward spiral that they just escaped on Wednesday. The Miners have this game against Tulane, and will then take on Memphis on the road and Southern Miss at home in their next two games.
He may not be the leading scorer on the season, but sophomore C John Bohannon is the main man for the Miners. He is averaging 11.5 points, and 7.2 rebounds a game on the season, but his numbers in C-USA are much better than that. In conference play, Bohannon is averaging 15.4 points and 8.8 rebounds a game, including four double doubles.
Sophomore G Michael Perez is the leading scorer for the Miners, averaging 12 points a game. Senior F Gabriel McCulley is just behind him averaging 11.9 points, and also pulls down 5.1 rebounds a game. And freshman G/F Julian Washburn puts up 11.3 points, and 3.1 rebounds a game.
The Miners had an opportunity to take out Tulane in New Orleans, so they should at the very least have that "opportunity" here at home. They hold a 43-9 mark in Conference USA games played in El Paso. Expect that to improve to 44-9 after tonight. Go Miners!!