POSTED: Friday, January 28, 2011 - 5:25pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 28, 2011 - 7:46pm
UTEP (17-4, 5-1 C-USA) seeks its third straight Conference USA road win on Saturday at Tulsa (10-10, 3-3 C-USA). The Miners are tied for first place in the league standings with Memphis (16-4, 5-1 C-USA). Tulsa is tied for fifth place, two games back of the Miners and the Tigers.
Saturday’s game will be nationally televised on CBS College Sports.
UTEP is coming off a 69-65 win over Tulane on Wednesday -- its 13th consecutive victory in the Haskins Center. SMU stunned Tulsa, 59-58, on a last-second three pointer by Robert Nyakundi. That snapped the Golden Hurricane’s five-game winning streak at the Donald W. Reynolds Center and dropped Tulsa to 7-4 at home this season.
The Golden Hurricane has posted a 3-3 mark since falling at UTEP, 69-59, in the league opener for both schools on Jan. 5. Tulsa beat Rice (75-64) and UAB (78-62) at home and won at Tulane (65-61). The Golden Hurricane lost to SMU at the Reynolds Center, and Arizona State (69-59) and Houston (64-57) on the road.
Senior guard Justin Hurtt continues to lead C-USA in scoring with 20.7 points per game. Hurtt is shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from outside and 87.2 percent from the charity stripe. Junior center Steven Idlet averages 12.9 ppg and sophomore guard Scottie Haralson 12.1 ppg. Haralson is second in C-USA with 2.9 three pointers per game. He is firing at a 39.3 percent clip from downtown.
Tulsa is second in C-USA in rebound margin (+4.6 per game), but last in the league in assists (12.0 avg.), steals (4.6 avg.), turnover margin (-2.4) and assist/turnover ratio (0.8).
Tulsa leads the series, 26-15. The Miners have beaten the Golden Hurricane four straight times after Tulsa had won the previous four matchups between the schools. The Golden Hurricane has claimed 16 of the 21 matchups between the teams in Tulsa. UTEP has won three times in its last 14 trips to Tulsa, including a 73-59 triumph last season. The Miners have never posted back-to-back wins on the Golden Hurricane’s home floor.
UTEP’s Tim Floyd is 1-0 in his coaching career against Tulsa.