TU can't keep up with No. 14 SMU in Dallas
The 14th-ranked SMU Mustangs (26-4, 16-1 AAC) clinched at least a tie for the regular season title in the American Athletic Conference Thursday night with a 93-70 win over Tulsa (14-15, 8-9 AAC) in front of 7,181 fans at Moody Coliseum.
Tulsa’s Corey Henderson’s 17 points led four players in double-figures, followed by Junior Etou with 13, Jaleel Wheeler with 11 and Martins Igbanu with 10 points. All five starters for SMU finished in double-digits, led by Semi Ojeleye’s 26 points.
SMU shot 60-perent from the field for the game and 53-percent from three-point range, while Tulsa managed only 36-percent overall and 29-percent from behind the arc. Tulsa had a 35-28 edge in rebounding, but SMU out-scored Tulsa in the paint 38 to 18. Once again, Tulsa’s bench outscored the opposition for the 27th time this season, 24 to 3.
The Mustangs took a 19-point halftime lead and expanded that to 30 points with 11:45 remaining in the game at 71-41. SMU took its largest lead of 36 points three times in the final 8:47, before the Hurricane closed out the game out-scoring the Mustangs 14-2.
Junior Etou started the game on fire scoring eight of Tulsa’s first 10 points to give the Hurricane a 10-7 lead. However, with only 4:02 gone in the game, Etou was called for his second foul at the 15:58 mark.
SMU took a 14-12 lead at 14:04, but Will Magnay’s five-footer tied the score at 14 before the Mustangs went on a 10-0 run for a 24-14 lead at the 11:32 mark for its first double-digit lead. SMU kept a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.
The Mustangs ended the first half shooting a sizzling 70-percent from the field, making 14-of-20 field goals, and 71-percent from three-point range, knocking down 71-percent. Tulsa shot only 23-percent from the field and 14-percent from three-point range in the first 20 minutes.
Tulsa closes out the regular season in New Orleans, Louisiana, against the Tulane Green Wave on Sunday for 3:00 p.m. (CT) tipoff. The game will be aired on ESPNU.