The UTEP Miners (13-8, 6-2 CUSA) will take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (12-11, 4-5 CUSA) tonight at the Don Haskins Center. This is the second meeting of the season between the two schools. The last meeting took place back on January 16th when the Miners lost by a final of 45 to 42. Tulsa leads the all time series 29-17. The Miners have won 6 of their last 9 meetings vs. Tulsa.
Since their last game, Tulsa has gone 1-4 in conference play with their only win coming against Houston (87-72). The Golden Hurricane lost to Tulane, Southern Mississippi, Memphis and UAB.
Tulsa is currently ranked 228th in the nation in points per game at 65.3. The Golden Hurricane is currently ranked 135th in rebounds per game at 35.8 and 297th in the nation in assists at 11.0 per game. Tulsa shoots 43.3 percent from the field which ranks them 286th in the nation.
Since their last game, UTEP has gone 4-1 with wins against SMU, East Carolina, Tulane and Rice. Their only loss came against UAB in Overtime. UTEP continues to shoot horribly on the road but when they are at home it's a completely different story. UTEP has only lost once at home this season (11-1) and that was a two point loss to UNLV.
The Miners are currently ranked 258th in the nation in scoring at 63.9 points per game. UTEP ranks 309th in the nation in rebounding (31.2) and 139th in assists (13.4) per game. The Miners are currently ranked 82nd in the nation in field goal percentage at 45.3 percent per game.
Points- Julian Washburn (12.1), Konner Tucker (11.5), John Bohannon (10.8)
Rebounds- John Bohannon (6.4), McKenzie Moore (5.2), Cedrick Lang (4.7)
Assists: Jacques Streeter (5.3), McKenzie Moore (21.), Julian Washburn (1.8)
Tulsa Golden Hurricane:
Points- James Woodard (12.2), Pat Swilling Jr. (10.5), Scottie Haralson (9.7)
Rebounds- James Woodard (5.5), Kauri Black (5.0), D'Andre Wright (4.8)
Assists- Shaquille Harrison (2.3), James Woodard (2.1), Rashad Ray (1.8)
Final thoughts: UTEP continues to improve on the little things and there is no doubt in my mind that come time for the CUSA tournament they will be ready. For UTEP to have some serious looks from the NCAA selection committee, they must win out at home. If the Miners go 15-1 at home, that will look good on a resume. Whatever they do at home, they must try to recreate while they go on the road. In order for UTEP to win tonight, they must show Tulsa that their win over the Miners was a fluke. UTEP must be a sharp shooting team tonight while working for those offensive rebounds. I think that while second chance points might be tough tonight, they will be the difference between a UTEP win or loss.
Prediction: Miners 64, Golden Hurricane 57