Tulsa, Wichita State meet in key AAC matchup

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Tulsa will look for its seventh straight win and a potential move into the Top 25 when it travels to surging Wichita State on Wednesday night for a key American Athletic Conference game in Kansas.

The Golden Hurricane (7-3, 4-1) will head back into play after their Jan. 9 home game against UCF was postponed because of positive COVID-19 cases and the ensuing contact tracing of student-athletes at UCF. Tulsa's most recent outing was a 61-51 road win over South Florida on Jan. 6.

Wichita State (7-3, 3-1) opens the week as one of four one-loss teams in the conference, behind Houston (5-1) and Tulsa (4-1) and ahead of Memphis (2-1). The Shockers will bring the momentum from an 82-76 home win over Cincinnati on Sunday into the game against Tulsa.

Brandon Rachal paced the Golden Hurricane's balanced attack against South Florida with 15 points -- 13 in the second half. Austin Richie and Elijah Joiner added 13 points each for Tulsa, and Darien Jackson scored 10.

The win kept the Golden Hurricane 3-0 in road games this season, a streak will be put to the test Wednesday night in Wichita.

"Our guys really competed hard; it is a great win for us because it is not an easy win here on the road," Tulsa coach Frank Haith said. "We got balanced scoring and had great production all the way around. We really did a good job of getting consecutive stops with our defense to begin the game and in the second half. Our defense was outstanding. "

Tulsa's winning streak has included four consecutive conference wins, including 65-64 at home over then-No. 5 Houston on Dec. 29.

The Shockers got a career-high 23 points from freshman Ricky Council IV in their win over Cincinnati that snapped a six-game losing streak against their AAC rival.

Wichita State handed Tulsa its only conference loss in a 69-65 decision on Dec. 15 and has won six of its past seven outings. The Shockers' loss during that stretch was at now-No. 11 Houston, 70-63, last Wednesday.

"We're just trying to win every game," Council said. "In Houston we came up short, but we definitely felt like we could have won that game, and we've got to move forward and take it game by game. Next is Tulsa, we already played them, so we know what to do."

--Field Level Media