UTEP Basketball on the road for a big contest at Tulane Tonight
UTEP (13-4, 1-1 C-USA) faces Tulane in New Orleans for the first time in two years tonight. The Miners are making their first visit to Fogelman Arena since suffering an 86-77 loss to the Green Wave on Feb. 28, 2009.
The Green Wave has been one of Conference USA's surprise teams this season, rocketing to a 12-3 start with wins in six straight games and nine of its last 10. Tulane sits atop the league standings with a 2-0 record and is undefeated at home (8-0) this season.
The Miners are coming off a 100-97, triple overtime loss at UAB on Saturday. UTEP played only the third triple overtime game in school history a year after beating the Blazers in double overtime at Bartow Arena.
UTEP has yet to lose back-to-back games this season and hasn't dropped two in a row since falling to Houston (81-73) and Butler (77-59) in the final two contests of the 2009-10 campaign.
The Miners are also looking to snap a two-game road losing streak following a school-record tying eight consecutive road victories. UTEP's last three-game road losing skid occurred in February of 2008.
The Green Wave have enjoyed quite a resurgence under the direction of first-year coach Ed Conroy, who previously headed up programs at Francis Marion (1997-00) and The Citadel (2006-10). Conroy was also an assistant at N.C. State, VMI, Furman, Tennessee and Coastal Carolina.
Tulane is averaging 75.9 points per game with sophomore swingman Kendall Timmons collecting 17.7 ppg, senior guard Kris Richard 13.9 ppg, sophomore guard Jordan Callahan 12.9 ppg and senior swingman Aaron Holmes 10.7 ppg. Timmons is third in C-USA in rebounding (8.9 avg.) and steals (2.1 avg.).
The Green Wave ranks 29th in the country in turnover margin (3.9), 37th in scoring margin (+12.6 ppg), 42nd in free throw percentage (.737) and 43rd in three-point field goal percentage defense (.302).
UTEP leads the series 4-2, and has won three of the five matchups between the schools since joining Conference USA. However, the Miners are 0-2 at Fogelman Arena with losses during the 2006-07 (92-67) and 2008-09 (86-77) seasons.