New Orleans Basketball to host cross-town rival Tulane on Tuesday

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Game between Privateers and Green Wave to tipoff at 7 pm; Cox Sports Television to broadcast contest

NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans men’s basketball team will welcome an old, familiar foe to campus on Tuesday, Nov. 29, when the Privateers play host to cross-town rival Tulane at 7 p.m. in Lakefront Arena. The ballgame will be broadcast live on Cox Sports Television.

The game marks the first meeting between the two teams on this side of town since the 2010-11 campaign, and the UNO squad enters the game with a head of steam after surging in the second half to defeat Florida College, 90-63, on Friday evening. Tulane holds a slim 24-23 lead in the all-time series, but home-court advantage has been big for New Orleans as the Privateers are 14-8 against the Green Wave in designated home games.

“It’s been a while and it’ll be good to welcome our neighbors from uptown back to the friendly confines of Lakefront Arena,” UNO head coach Mark Slessinger said. “This is always a good game and we’re excited about basketball here in New Orleans.

“It’s an important [game] because it’s the next one, but it’s also huge for us to just build some consistency, to be able to put a streak together and get on a run. After this one, we go back on the road again for two very tough games against a Pac 12 and a Big 10 opponent. We’d love to have some momentum going into those games and going into finals so we can make a run toward the end of our non-conference schedule.”

The Privateers enter the game 2-3 on the young season and are averaging 77.4 points, 37.2 rebounds, 17.2 assists, 8.8 steals and 3.6 blocks per game. Senior forward Erik Thomas leads the New Orleans offensively with 22.4 points per game, followed by senior guards Christavious Gill with an average of 13.8 and Tevin Broyles with a mark of 8.6. Thomas also paces the team with 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Junior forward Makur Puou headlines the defense with 1.6 blocked shots per outing and Gill leads the Privateers with 4.0 assists per contest.

UNO is connecting at a .452 clip from the field, hitting 140-of-310 shots from the floor and 28-of-82 tries from beyond the 3-point arc (.341), while allowing opponents to shoot .466 overall (146-of-313) and .360 from 3-point land (41-of-114). Privateer foes are averaging 82.4 points, 38.0 rebounds, 14.8 assists, 9.4 steals and 4.0 blocks so far in 2016-17.

“We’re still figuring out a lot about ourselves,” Slessinger said. “We’ve been shorthanded without Nate [Frye] and Cameron [Reed] in our guard rotation, so that’s made things a bit interesting. We’re finding a rhythm and finding a way. I like the way the guys are working and the way they’re competing. It should be a fun game tomorrow night, for sure.”

Tulane, meanwhile, makes the short trip across town 1-5 on the season and looking to halt a four-game slide after falling to Oklahoma (89-70 on Nov. 17), Arizona State (80-71 on Nov. 18) and Missouri (67-62 on Nov. 20) during the Tire Pros Invitational in Buena Vista, Fla., before dropping an 82-68 road game at Georgia Tech on Saturday night in Atlanta.

As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 73.2 points, 34.3 rebounds, 13.5 assists, 5.7 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Cameron Reynolds leads a balanced Tulane offense with 18.0 points per game while Kain Harris, Malik Morgan and Melvin Frazier follow with respective scoring averages of 11.8, 9.3 and 8.8. Ryan Smith paces the team with 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game with Morgan leading the way with 3.7 assists per night and Frazier headlining the defense with 1.5 steals per outing.

Tulane is hitting 39.7 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 148-of-373 field goal attempts, including a 55-of-141 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.390). The Green Wave defense has allowed opponents to post a 47.4 shooting percentage (165-of-348) and a 40.4 clip from 3-point land (44-of-109) and their foes are averaging 81.5 points, 40.2 rebounds, 16.3 assists, 7.3 steals and 2.2 blocks per game.

“We both have played very competitive non-conference schedules to this point,” Slessinger added. “We’ve both gone out and played tough road swings, and I’m sure they’re kind of feeling themselves out the same way we are. We’re both figuring out rotations and where pieces fit together to a certain extent.

“They’re very well coached. Coach Dunleavy has done a good job with them. They’ve got a lot of talented pieces, guys that can really play and play well at high levels. It should be a great challenge for us.”

New Orleans has dropped the last three head-to-head matchups with Tulane, falling 57-53 in Lakefront Arena on Dec. 14, 2010, dropping a 72-53 decision during the Hoops For Hope Classic in Devlin Fieldhouse on Nov. 26, 2011, and coming up a basket shy in a 64-62 decision last Dec. 2 in uptown New Orleans.

The Privateer’s last win was a 51-50 road win on Dec. 2, 2009 – which capped a four-game winning streak against the Green Wave – and UNO’s last home win against Tulane was back on Dec. 3, 2008, when the squad came away with a 49-39 victory in Lakefront Arena.

For tickets to Tuesday’s game against the Tulane, as well as future Privateer Athletics events, contact the UNO Athletics Ticket Office over the phone at (504) 280-GAME (4263) or via the Internet by clicking HERE.

GAME PROMOTIONS: The University of New Orleans will hold a pre-game concert featuring the legendary local band, Bag of Donuts, beginning at 5 p.m. Another group as unique as the Crescent City itself will be on hand throughout the contest as the 610 Stompers will provide entertainment throughout Tuesday’s contest.

COACH SLESSINGER’S COMMENTS HEADING INTO TUESDAY’S GAME AGAINST TULANE

On Tulane coming to UNO for the first time since 2010
“It’s been a while and it’ll be good to welcome our neighbors from uptown back to the friendly confines of Lakefront Arena. This is always a good game and we’re excited about basketball here in New Orleans.”

On his team’s performance to date
“We’re still figuring out a lot about ourselves. We’ve been shorthanded without Nate [Frye] and Cameron [Reed] in our guard rotation, so that’s made things a bit interesting. We’re finding a rhythm and finding a way. I like the way the guys are working and the way they’re competing. It should be a fun game tomorrow night, for sure.”

On the Tulane Green Wave
“We both have played very competitive non-conference schedules to this point. We’ve both gone out and played tough road swings, and I’m sure they’re kind of feeling themselves out the same way we are. We’re both figuring out rotations and where pieces fit together to a certain extent. They’re very well coached. Coach Dunleavy has done a good job with them. They’ve got a lot of talented pieces, guys that can really play and play well at high levels. It should be a great challenge for us.”

On if this game has any additional importance
“It’s most important because it’s the next one, but it’s also huge for us to just build some consistency and to be able to put a streak together and get on a run. After this one, we go back on the road again for two very tough games against a Pac 12 and a Big 10 opponent. We’d love to have some momentum going into those games and going into finals so we can make a run toward the end of our non-conference schedule.”

On what he wants to see from his team on Tuesday vs Tulane
“We obviously need to improve in some areas. We’ve got to defend it at a higher rate. We’ve got to continue to move the ball, cut down on turnovers and make sure we get a great shot each time down the floor. We have to find people with the shots that they need. We’ve seen some good flashes from different people on different nights, but we need to see them put it together where multiple guys have great nights on the same night. Thibodeaux, Gill and Erik can have great nights, and then add in some other guys who can play at a high level – that’s the key for us to win and get rolling.”

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Richie Weaver

Richie Weaver

Director of Athletic Media Relations, University of New Orleans

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