San Diego (2-1) vs. Tulsa (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California. Television: Local. Home Record: USD 2-1, Tulsa 1-0. Away Record: USD 0-0, Tulsa 0-0. Neutral Record: USD 0-0, Tulsa 1-0. Conference Record: USD 0-0, Tulsa 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Tulsa aims for a third win in as many chances to tip off the 2012-13 slate, as the Golden Hurricane clashes with the San Diego Toreros as part of the NUCDF Basketball Challenge at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Tulsa, which is under the command of first-year head coach Danny Manning, began the campaign with an overwhelming 110-54 victory against LSU Shreveport over the weekend, and followed that up with a 76-56 triumph versus Northern Kentucky in this event on Thursday.
As for the Toreros, they too began the season with back-to-back victories against the likes of San Diego Christian (91-58) and Northern Kentucky (65-61), but yesterday the team was taken out by Cal State Northridge in a narrow 74-71 final.
After this first-ever meeting between the programs, the Golden Hurricane will also clash with Cal State Northridge on Saturday to complete their portion of the event, while San Diego takes a day off before taking on Siena.
With Chris Manresa again missing in action, the Toreros had to lean more heavily on Ken Rancifer and Dennis Kramer along the front line and that simply didn't work out on Thursday as the pair combined to shoot just 2-of-7 from the floor for a grand total of just five points. Instead, it was Johnny Dee who took the lead in the scoring department with 16 points, followed by Chris Anderson with 15 to go along with his eight assists and six rebounds, while reserves Jito Kok and John Sinis each tacked on 10 points for a team that went from shooting 56.0 percent from the floor in the first half to just 40.0 percent after the break. With Manresa on the shelf, Dee and Anderson have assumed most of the scoring responsibilities with 12.7 and 12.0 ppg, respectively. Not only that, Anderson is also averaging just under seven assists per game in an effort to get the rest of his teammates involved in the action as well.
Even though Tulsa shot an impressive 60.0 percent from the field in the first half against the Norse, the Golden Hurricane still trailed at the break by a couple of points, but that all changed in a big way. More than anything, it was the defensive pressure by Tulsa in the second half that turned the tide as the team held NKU to a mere 6-of-23 shooting from the floor, including a miserable 1-of-12 behind the three-point line. While the defense was taking care of the Norse, Rashad Smith was handling the offense for Tulsa as he tallied 23 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and 11-of-12 accuracy at the free-throw line. Scottie Haralson chipped in another 10 points as well. James Woodard, who had a huge outing in the opener, leads the team in scoring after two games with 18.0 ppg, thanks to 65.0 percent shooting from the field and 5-of-7 behind the three-point line. Smith checks in with 15.5 ppg as he too has found the basket rather easily as he shoots at a staggering 76.9 percent clip.
If the Golden Hurricane can again flip a switch and dial up the defense as it did against Northern Kentucky yesterday, the chances of the Toreros sneaking into the win column are not good.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 71, San Diego 59
11/16 10:47:48 ET