College Basketball

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Tulsa (13-12) at Florida Atlantic (10-16)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: FAU Arena (5,000) -- Boca Raton, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: Tulsa 10-3, FAU 7-5. Away Record: Tulsa 2-7, FAU 3-11. Neutral Record: Tulsa 1-2, FAU 0-0. Conference Record: Tulsa 8-3, FAU 5-6. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane take aim at their fourth win in a row as they invade FAU Arena for a Conference USA bout against the Florida Atlantic Owls.

Coach Danny Manning's Golden Hurricane climbed above the .500 mark for the first time this season on Saturday as they coasted to a 76-37 decision over Old Dominion at home. Tulsa is just one game back of the three-way tie for first place in the C-USA standings, but has only one more home game the rest of the way. That could be a problem as the Golden Hurricane have gone just 2-7 in true road tests to this point. Tulsa averages 73.3 ppg on 44.3 percent shooting from the field while limiting its opposition to 69.2 ppg.

Florida Atlantic is coming off a 66-56 setback to Texas-San Antonio which snapped a two-game winning streak and lowered the team to a 5-6 league record. The Owls were limited to a 7-of-33 clip from 3-point range and also converted only 7-of-13 attempts at the free-throw line in the loss to the Roadrunners. The lack of success away from home is nothing new for coach Mike Jarvis's team, which is 3-11 in true road games. The team owns a respectable 7-5 record at FAU Arena, where it managed to knock off UCF and Harvard.

This will be the first meeting in history between Tulsa and FAU on the hardwood.

The Golden Hurricane used a collective effort to power past ODU, with James Woodard scoring 14 points to lead four players in double figures. Tim Peete added 12 points for Tulsa as it collected its ninth win in its last 12 games. Rashad Smith and Brandon Swannegan poured in 11 and 10 points, respectively. Swannegan also added six rebounds and five blocks to his performance. Despite being just a sophomore, Woodard has stepped into a leadership role and paces Tulsa in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Smith is chiming in with 12.4 ppg and 5.1 rpg.

FAU's poor perimeter shooting was not the only area for concern in Saturday's loss to UTSA. The Roadrunners enjoyed a 47-39 edge in the rebounding battle and outscored the Owls by 11 points at the charity stripe. Senior guard Pablo Betrone scored 16 points on an unimpressive 7-of-23 shooting from the floor, while Marquan Botley and Jackson Trapp added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Betrone is clocking a career-high 34 minutes per game and leading the C-USA with 18.7 ppg, which is nearly double his scoring average from the 2012-13 campaign. Botley is the Owls' second-leading scorer at 10.5 ppg, while Justin Raffington ranks third among the conference's players with nine rpg.

Tulsa has prevented each of its last eight opponents from shooting 40 percent from the field, and has allowed an average of 56.9 ppg and is 6-2 in those contests. Although the Owls have the C-USA's most dangerous scorer, the Golden Hurricane should be able to continue their defensive dominance in Boca Raton. Woodard has become one of the conference's premier players and Manning may be on his way to a more prestigious position if his team continues to surge.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulsa 69, Florida Atlantic 61

02/20 10:18:39 ET

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