SMU Slams Tulane

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, January 5th, 2019

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BY:  Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                  Member – United States Basketball Writers Association

The SMU Men’s basketball team led from wire to wire Friday night against the Tulane Green Wave at the Aaron B. Fogelman Arena in New Orleans on their way to their second straight conference win of the season.  Jahmal McMurray suffered a stomach virus and missed the morning shoot around, but in the game he led the Mustangs by scoring 25 points, including 11 of the first 15 to get the Mustangs off to an early lead.  The final score was SMU 74, Tulane 65.  It was SMU’s 10th win of the season against four losses.  The Green Wave fell to 4-10 for the season and 0-2 in conference play.

The Ponies took charge early by scoring the first eight points.  Tulane answered with an 8-2 run to cut the margin to two points at 10-8, but that was as close as Tulane would get.  SMU promptly answered with three pointers from Jarrey Foster and McMurray to stretch the lead back out to eight points, and they led by 10 at halftime 35-25.

SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich said on the SMU post-game radio show (KAAM 770 AM), “(The) first 10 minutes, how good did we play!  I was really pleased.  The effort was fantastic.  Had it been a good shooting night, we’d have been up by 20.”   

SMU stretched the lead to as much as 18 points in the second half, before holding off a late charge from Tulane that cut the margin into single digits.  Only seven players saw action for the Mustangs with Nat Dixon and Feron Hunt coming off the bench to join the starting five.

It was the second straight 20-point game for McMurray as he put in a solid bid to be the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week.  Ethan Chargois and Jimmy Whitt, Jr. were the two Mustangs scoring in double digits along with McMurray.  Chargois put in 14 and Whitt scored 11.  Whitt also had a game high five assists and grabbed 11 rebounds to register a double-double.

Tulane’s Samir Sehic had a monster game scoring 20 points and pulling down 15 rebounds, as Tulane actually out-rebounded the Mustangs 43-39. (It was just the fourth game this season in which SMU’s opponent pulled down more rebounds.)   Sehic was joined in the double digit scoring column by Jordan Cornish (17) and Caleb Daniels (14).

It was a rough and tumble game.  The Mustangs went cold at times allowing Tulane to make runs that closed the gap.  Neither team shot well, with SMU coming in at 40% and Tulane at 34.4% for the game.  The Mustangs did make as many free throws – 19 – as Tulane shot, always a good indicator.   

It was just the second road game of the season for SMU, and they have won them both, also beating Georgetown in December. “We don’t look much different on the road that at home,” Jankovich noted.

He wasn’t pleased with the rebounding totals though.  “Way too many offensive rebounds,” he said about Tulane.  The Green Wave grabbed 15 on 64 shots.

SMU has now won eight of their last nine games.  The Mustangs travel to Storrs, Connecticut to play the UCONN Huskies at the Harry A. Gamel Pavilion next Thursday, January 10.  Connecticut has a 9-5 (0-1 in conference) record going into play Saturday when they host Central Florida in Hartford.  Thursday’s game time is 7:00 PM (Eastern)/6:00 PM (Central), and it will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

SEEN AT THE GAME:  Former SMU and current New Orleans Saints football players Thomas Morstead and Zack Line.  Former SMU basketball players Cannen Cunningham and Kevin Dunleavy, who are on Tulane Head Coach Mike Dunleavy’s coaching staff.

NOTABLE:

  • SMU opponents averaged 71.2 points per game in the first six games of the season, but the Mustangs have held opponents to 61.9 points per game in the eight games since when Jarrey Foster returned from injury.

 

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  1. LaVerne Hunt says:

    I’m so proud of my grandson From Hunt in all his endeavors.Congratulation on good game. Much success and much Love.From Grammy!!,

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