Tulsa (1-0) vs. Northern Kentucky (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 15, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California. Television: None. Home Record: Tulsa 1-0, NKU 0-0. Away Record: Tulsa 0-0, NKU 0-1. Neutral Record: Tulsa 0-0, NKU 0-0. Conference Record: Tulsa 0-0, NKU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: A first-ever meeting between the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and the Norse of Northern Kentucky is just one small part of the NUCDF Basketball Challenge at Jenny Craig Pavilion this week.
Tulsa has already gotten off to a positive start over the weekend with a massive 110-54 romp over LSU Shreveport at home. A week earlier the Golden Hurricane posted 113 points against Panhandle State in an exhibition, but it might be an indication of how first-year head coach Danny Manning will be driving his offense this season.
As for the Norse, they have finally made the leap to Division I status and are members of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The squad waited until yesterday to finally begin play for this year and nearly pulled off a memorable win against San Diego, but ended up dropping a 65-61 decision in the first game of this event.
The 110 points scored by Tulsa against LSU Shreveport in the opener marked the first time in nearly 11 years that the program was able to reach triple digits. The scoring burst was also the highest since the team beat up on Prairie View A&M in a 115-46 decision on Dec. 30, 2000. In the opener no player saw more than 26 minutes on the floor for the Golden Hurricane as four scored in double figures, beginning with James Woodard, who dropped in a game- high 28 points. Woodard, just a freshman, knocked down 5-of-6 shots behind the three-point line as he recorded the most points in an opener by a freshman at Tulsa since Shea Seals tallied 33 in a meeting with Houston Baptist in 1993. Scottie Haralson added 14 points, D'Andre Wright 12 off the bench, and Rashad Ray posted 11 points and six assists for a team that made good on 13-of-26 behind the 3-point line and 25-of-30 at the charity stripe, while also crushing the visitors on the glass, 53-31.
Ahead by as many as eight points with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, the Norse appeared to be on their way to an upset victory yesterday, but the team was eventually outscored at the free-throw line in the period, 17-3, which allowed the hosts to battle back and capture the victory. Eshaunte Jones led the way in scoring for NKU with 12 points, although he shot just 3-of-10 from the field and 2-of-8 behind the three-point line. Jones also paced the team on the glass with six rebounds, but still the group was beaten on the glass overall by a 31-21 margin. Todd Johnson came off the bench to contribute another 11 points as he knocked down 3-of-8 on the perimeter which means the rest of the team, aside from Jones, combined to make a mere 1-of-7 from the outside.
If Tulsa is again able to play the game at a frantic pace, expect the Norse to be buried rather early in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 89, Northern Kentucky 68
11/15 10:33:26 ET