The Tulsa Golden Hurricane (14-9, 7-2) come to town tonight to take on the UTEP Miners (10-13, 3-6) in a Conference USA matchup at the Don. Tipoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. MT, and the game will be carried nationally on CBS College Sports. Unfortunately, the UTEP all-access site will not be broadcasting the game.
The Miners and the Hurricane have met 44 times previously, with Tulsa holding a 28-16 advantage. The Miners, however, have won 5 of the last 7 contests, after being swept by Tulsa between 2007 and 2009. These two teams last met in on January 11th at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Tulsa. With just under 10 minutes left, two Michael Perez free throws cut the lead to 1, but an 11-3 run put the game out of reach, as the Hurricane pulled out the 59-48 vicotry.
Tulsa enters the contest at 14-9 overall, and 7-2 in conference play. They are currently the hottest team in Conference USA, winning 7 straight games, including wins over UCF and Marshall. The Hurricane started the season 5-7, but have since gone 9-2 to get their season back on track.
Sophomore G Jordan Clarkson leads the way for the Hurricane, averaging 15.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists a game. Junior G Scottie Haralson is the only other Hurricane averaging double figure scoring at 11.1 points a game, and senior F Steven Idlet isn't far behind, averaging 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
The Miners come into the contest at 10-13 overall, and 3-6 in Conference USA action. They had gotten above .500 for the first time this season, but road woes doomed them as they have now lost 4 in a row, including three contests away from home.
Senior F Gabriel McCulley leads the way for the Miners averaging 12.2 points, and 4.9 rebounds a game. Sophomore G Michael Perez is averaging 11.3 points a contest, and freshman G/F Julian Washburn comes in averaging 11.1 points and 3 rebounds a game. Also, sophomore C John Bohannon continued an impressive Conference USA season with a 22 point, 8 rebound effort Saturday against UAB. He is averaging 11.2 points and 7.4 rebounds a game.
About a month ago, UTEP went to Tulsa, OK on a mini run of their own, hoping to drop a struggling Hurricane squad. Obviously that didn't work out. Tulsa went on to win that game 59-48, sparking a 7 game winning streak that the Hurricane bring into El Paso tonight. In my opinion, this whole thing has gone full circle. The streak started with UTEP, and tonight it will end with UTEP. Miners will win a close one to end their four game skid. Go Miners!!