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Tulsa Faces Rice in C-USA Championship First Round on Wednesday

Jessica McQuin

Jessica McQuin
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March 11, 2013

Tulsa, Oklahoma - Tulsa will take on Rice in the Conference USA Championship First Round beginning at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 13th at the Tulsa Convention Center. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at BOKCenter.com.

The Hurricane has a 13-16 overall record and had an 8-8 mark in C-USA. Tulsa has won six of their last nine contests, including four-straight victories from Feb. 3 through Feb. 17. In those six victories, four have come at home. TU has won the six games by a 9.3 average, but the three losses have been by 12.6 average.

TU is led by Taleya Mayberry with 17.8 points per game and a team-high 104 assists and 69 steals. Kelsee Grovey nets 10.3 points per game, Tiffani Couisnard averages 8.2 points per game, a team-best 8.8 rebounds per game and has a team-leading 29 blocks, and Loren McDaniel adds 7.1 rebounds per contest.

Rice has a 14-15 overall record and a 6-10 mark in C-USA. The Owls are led by Jessica Kuster who averages a double-double with 16.1 ppg and 10.2 rpg, and has 70 assists, 44 blocks and 29 steals. Megan Palmer is just shy of double figures with 9.6 ppg, while Christal Porter pulls down 8.2 rebounds per game and also has 29 steals.

This will be the 37th meeting between the two teams, as the Owls have a 24-12 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams have met twice this season, with both teams winning on their home court. Rice picked up a three-point win (56-53) win over the Hurricane on Jan. 13, but TU earned a four-point (49-45) victory over the Owls on Feb. 17th.

Tulsa's Mayberry and Grovey Earn Conference USA Accolades
Taleya Mayberry and Kelsee Grovey were named to the All-Conference USA First Team and All-Freshman Team, respectively, as announced by the league office. Mayberry is just the fifth Tulsa honoree to be named to the first team and the second player to receive the honor twice, while Grovey is only the second Hurricane player to be named to the All-Freshman squad as Mayberry was tabbed to the team in 2010.



Tulsa to Host Conference USA Championship
Tulsa will host the 2013 Conference USA Championship, March 13-16, at the Tulsa Convention Center and BOK Center. The first two rounds will be played at the Tulsa Convention Center, while the semifinals and championship game will be played at the BOK Center. TU has previously hosted the C-USA Championship in 2007 and 2010.

Tulsa in the C-USA Championship
Tulsa has made seven previous appearances in the Conference USA Championship and has a 5-6 record in tournament play. The Golden Hurricane has advanced past the first round in three seasons, but has not done so since 2008. TU clinched the tournament title in 2006.

Tulsa Leads C-USA Title Race With 48 League Crowns
Since the new Conference USA was formed and began competition in the 2005-06 season, Tulsa athletic teams have won a league-best 48 Conference USA Championships, including regular season and post-season tournament titles. The next closest since 2005 is SMU with 23 C-USA titles. TU won its first crown in the 2012-13 season with a third straight men's cross country title in October. Tulsa has added C-USA volleyball regular season and postseason titles, a men's soccer postseason crown and football West Division title and overall crown. Tulsa won eight C-USA Championships in 2011-12 including: men's cross country, men's indoor track, women's golf; men's tennis, women's tennis, volleyball and women's softball (regular season & tournament title).

Last Time Out
Sophomore Kadan Brady scored a career-high 18 points in helping send-off the Tulsa senior class to a 76-63 victory over the Houston Cougars in their final game at the Donald W. Reynolds Center Thursday night. The senior class was led by Taleya Mayberry's 18 points, followed by Tiffani Couisnard's eight points and two by Jessica McQuin. A pair of freshman, Kelsee Grovey and Ashley Clark, also scored in double digits for Tulsa with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Houston was led by Yasmeen Thompson's 17 points and Marche' Amerson's 16 points.

Mayberry Scoring Force
Taleya Mayberry has scored in double digits in 81 of 109 career contests, amassing 1,624 points for a 14.8 ppg average. Of her 81 double-figure games she has scored 20 or more points in 29 games and 30 or more points four times. Mayberry is only the eighth women's basketball player in school history to score 1,000 career points, and is in second place on the all-time scoring chart.

Moving Up
Taleya Mayberry, Tiffani Couisnard and Loren McDaniel are moving up in the Tulsa Career Leaders chart. Mayberry is now second in points (1,624), is third in steals (259), field goals made (558) and three-point field goals made (152), and is fourth in free throws made (356) and assists (361). Couisnard ranks third in rebounds (740), sixth in double-doubles (9) and seventh in blocks (74), and McDaniel is 10th in double-doubles (5).

In the Nation
Tulsa ranks among the nation's top-115 in three categories according the latest NCAA statistics (3/7/13). TU is 85th in turnover margin (2.1), 88th in steals per game (9.8) and 112th in three-point field goal percentage defense (29.3). Individually, Taleya Mayberry and Tiffani Couisnard are ranked in the nation's top-105 in four categories. Mayberry is 50th in points per game (17.8), 92nd in steals per game (2.46) and 104th in free throw percentage (79.5), while Couisnard is 87th in rebounds per game (8.8).

Couisnard Named to C-USA Women's Basketball All-Academic Team
Tulsa senior Tiffani Couisnard was named to the Conference USA Women's Basketball All-Academic Team, as announced by the league office. This is Couisnard's third selection to the team, as she picked up the honor in 2010 and 2012.

Grovey Tabbed as C-USA Women's Basketball Freshman of the Week Twice
Kelsee Grovey was named as the Conference USA Women's Basketball Freshman of the Week on January 21st and March 9th. She is just the second TU women's basketball player to pick up the honor and second to do it twice, as Taleya Mayberry was selected on two occasions during the 2009-10 campaign.

On the Bench
The Golden Hurricane team returns seven letterwinners, including three starters, and welcomes four newcomers. The roster features seniors Tiffani Couisnard, Taleya Mayberry and Jessica McQuin; junior Loren McDaniel; sophomores Kadan Brady, Amber Fleet and Mariah Turner; and freshmen Ashley Clark, Kelsee Grovey, Jasmine Vasquez and Antoinet Webster.

Mayberry Named to C-USA Women's Basketball Preseason Team
Tulsa senior Taleya Mayberry was named to the Conference USA Women's Basketball Preseason Team, as announced by the league office. Mayberry was a first-team All-Conference USA performer a year ago.

Hurricane Picked Sixth in Preseason Coaches Poll
The Tulsa women's basketball team was picked to finish sixth in C-USA, as voted on by the league's coaches. TU finished last season with an 8-8 overall record and a sixth-place mark in the league.

2011-12 Season Recap
Head Coach Matilda Mossman guided the Golden Hurricane to 13 wins and a sixth-place Conference USA finish, the best since Tulsa earned 26 victories, won both the regular season and tournament C-USA titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round during the 2005-06 campaign.

Tulsa Finishes 18th in Final Fall Learfield Cup Standings
After the completion of all the fall NCAA Championships, The University of Tulsa is ranked 18th in the Division I Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings. Tulsa has totaled 239 points and is the highest ranked team in Conference USA and in the state of Oklahoma. The next closest C-USA teams are SMU, ranked 56th, and UCF, ranked 58th. In the state of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State is ranked 24th and Oklahoma is 27th.

FYI, 275 of 400 TU student-athletes had a 3.0 GPA or better for the fall semester.

State-of-the-Art Centerpiece
Tulsa's new video board was debuted on Dec. 17 and is the only one of its kind in college basketball. It is 30 feet wide and 15 feet high on the two main boards, which stretch nearly three-point line to three-point line, while the end boards are 12 feet wide by 15 feet high. All of the boards have a six-millimeter display. The video board is part of a $2 million project, which was funded with a generous donation from ONEOK, that also includes a new sound system and two 4x12 video boards.

For an in depth look at Tulsa Athletics, including Chalk Talk's from each head coach, facility tours and a look at TU's success, visit ExperienceTulsaAthletics.com.

Keep up with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane women's basketball team by accessing the official University of Tulsa athletic department web site at www.TulsaHurricane.com. This site features up-to-date information on TU athletics, including game results, press releases, statistics, box scores, schedules and rosters.

Tulsa fans can show their support for Tulsa Golden Hurricane and each individual team through a combination of in-game social media campaigns, engaging teams on social networks and earning rewards through our new Golden Rewards program. Fans receive points for participating in social media activities such as `liking' Facebook posts, commenting, sharing, tweeting hashtags, re-tweeting, watching a YouTube video, checking in on Foursquare or Facebook, scanning student cards or posting photos and taking in-game polls with Social Stadium Twitter promotions.

A Hurricane in Tulsa?
The Origination of The University of Tulsa nickname - Golden Hurricane - was created in 1922. A new football coach, Howard Archer came to town and inherited a slew of nicknames dating back to 1895. In the past, Tulsa had been named "Kendallites," "Presbyterians," "Tigers," "Orange and Black," "Tulsans," and of course, "Yellow Jackets." The team started working out in the fall with a new nickname "Yellow Jackets" which was apparently due to the fact that the team was wearing new black and yellow uniforms. The team opened the season and it was apparent that Tulsa was going to have a great year, and trying to seize some publicity for his team, Archer wanted to find a new nickname quickly. After a remark was made in practice one day about "roaring through opponents," and because of their new jersey colors, he thought of "Golden Tornadoes." But a check showed that Georgia Tech already had chosen that tag in 1917. From the tornado, he evolved meteorologically to the hurricane. A few days before the team left for a game against Texas A&M, Acher asked the squad to vote on the name, and thus "Golden Hurricane" was born.