GAME NOTES: The Tulane Green Wave will continue their three-game homestand at Devlin Fieldhouse on Saturday night when they take on the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners in Conference USA action.
UTSA's season has been a struggle from the very start, as it sits with just an 8-17 record overall and a 4-8 mark in C-USA. The Roadrunners have lost five of their last six games, including a 85-56 drubbing at the hands of Southern Miss on Thursday to fall to a woeful 1-10 on the road.
Tulane has lost two of the last three games, most recently dropping a home contest to first-place Texas-El Paso on Thursday, 72-54. The Green Wave are now 14-13 overall and 6-6 in league play, but even with their latest setback, they are still an impressive 10-5 in New Orleans this season.
The Green Wave are 2-0 versus the Roadrunners all time, but the newly- acquainted conference rivals haven't faced off since 1983.
The Roadrunners went into halftime of their most recent bout trailing USM by just two, but after shooting a woeful 4-of-25 from the field after intermission, they were eventually saddled with the 29-point loss. They finished the game just 12-of-44 from the floor (.273) and committed an unseemly 23 turnovers. Edrico McGregor was the only player to score in double figures with 11 points.
UTSA's dreadful offensive showing earlier in the week was not indicative of its season success, as it pours in 70.0 ppg on a modest 42.8 percent field- goal shooting, but its downfall has come on the opposite end of the floor, where it allows opponents to shoot a lofty 47.6 percent for 78.1 ppg, and owning one of the nation's worst turnover margins (-4.4) doesn't help matters much either. Keon Lewis shoots just 37.3 percent from the field but generates enough volume to score a game-high 13.1 ppg. Devon Agusi (11.9 ppg), Jordan Sims (11.0 ppg), Hyjii Thomas (9.8 ppg) and McGregor (7.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg) are also regular contributors.
The Green Wave held a lead midway through the first half earlier in the week only to allow UTEP to end the frame on a 19-10 run to take a lead into the break, and they fell behind by as many as 20 down the stretch. They were outshot from the field, 56.3 percent to 35.4 percent, and lost the rebounding battle, 31-27. Louis Dabney and Jay Hook led the way in the losing effort with 14 points apiece, with Hook doing so on a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range. Tre Drye scored just six points but ripped down nine rebounds.
Although Tulane sports an above-.500 record this season, it is still handily outproduced by its opponents, as it shoots just 41.6 percent from the field for 65.0 ppg while allowing 70.7 ppg on 44.3 percent shooting. Dabney leads the way with 16.6 ppg and is a difference maker on defense as well with 1.3 spg. Jonathan Stark pours in 14.4 ppg and dishes out 3.9 apg, while Hook nets 13.7 ppg and has been outstanding from beyond the arc, knocking down 61 3- pointers at a 48.4 percent clip.
Tulane has been strong on its home floor, especially against inferior competition, so expect it to dismiss a Roadrunners squad that has struggled to put up a fight on the road.
Game Date and Time