TULANE TURNS BACK SMU

by Dan M | Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2020

mbb huddle vs. temple 2020

GREEN WAVE ENDS NINE GAME LOSING STREAK

BY:  Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                                            MEMBER:  United States Basketball Writers Association

The Tulane Green Wave ended a nine game losing streak with an 80-72 win over the SMU Mustangs Wednesday night at the Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Center on the Tulane campus in New Orleans.  SMU has been one of the better three-point shooting teams in the nation this season, but was a miserable 6-36 from beyond the three point arc.  The win was just the third in conference play this year for Tulane (3-11), and their season record is 11-15.  SMU fell to 18-7 for the season and 8-5 in conference play.  The Mustangs’ road woes continue as they are now 1-5 in conference road games.

“It was incredibly disappointing,” SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich said on his post-game radio interview on KAAM 770 AM.  Jankovich was worried about a let-down against a lesser opponent after beating then ranked 20th Houston last Saturday.  “Just as proud and happy as I was Saturday, we started talking literally right after the game about how hard this challenge was because of the emotions that are involved having just beaten a ranked team and the energy we had to give to do that.  And then to turn around and say okay, well now we’re playing in a completely different environment against a team that’s really been struggling.  I’m just incredibly disappointed.  I’ve got a real issue with the letdown, and it cost us dearly.  We were just not in the emotional state to win this game tonight.”

SMU scored the first five points of the game and led for the first seven minutes.  However, once Tulane took their first lead at 11-10, SMU never led again.  The bottom line is the Mustangs simply did not shoot well.  SMU was 9-29 (31%) for the half.  The Ponies failed to work the ball inside settling most of the time for long range shots.  They finished the first half just 2-18 from the three point line.  Tulane led 27-23 at intermission, but could have really taken control with decent free throw shooting.  They hit just 10-18 free throws.  With SMU shooting mostly from outside, Tulane committed just five fouls in the half such that SMU shot only five free throws.  

Tulane really took charge early in the second half.  The Green Wave scored the first 11 points to stretch their lead to 15 points and led by 17 barely four minutes into the half.  From there, it took more than 10 minutes for the Mustangs to drop that lead into single digits, but Tulane still led by 10 points with 1:31 left in the game.  SMU did get the deficit down to four points with 40 seconds left, but Tulane made six of eight free throws to hold off the Mustangs.  

SMU shot 36.7% from the floor for the game, which included just 16.7% on three point shots.  The Mustangs have out-rebounded most of their opponents, but Tulane surprisingly led this game with 32 boards to 29 for the Mustangs.  Isiaha Mike was SMU’s high point man with 18 points.  Tyson Jolly with 16 and Emmanuel Bandoumel with 15 points were the other SMU double digit scorers.  Mike and Isiah Jasey pulled down six rebounds each to lead SMU.  The Mustangs recorded just nine assists on 22 made baskets.  Kendric Davis came into the game leading the conference in assists, but dished out just two Wednesday night.  That is less a comment on Davis’s play and more of a comment on SMU’s poor shooting.  Davis found open teammates for shots, but there’s no assist if the shot is missed.  

Tashaun Hightower torched the Mustangs’ defense for 26 points.  Christian Thompson (19), K. J. Lawson (14) and Jordan Walker (11) also scored in double digits.  Thomson led Tulane with eight rebounds.  

The Mustangs are now two games in the loss column out of first place in the conference race as Houston beat Tulsa Wednesday night.  UH is 11-3.  Cincinnati and Tulsa have four conference losses to take up second and third place.  SMU with five losses is in fourth place, one-half game ahead of Wichita State, which also has five conference losses.  Unquestionably, Wednesday’s loss to Tulane deals a serious blow to SMU’s chances of winning the regular season conference championship.  The loss basically undoes all the good from beating Houston last Saturday.   .   

SMU stays on the road this weekend with their only meeting of the regular season against the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the Reynolds Center on the Tulsa campus.  Tulsa comes in with a 9-4 record in conference play (17-9 overall), so they are squarely in the race for the conference regular season championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  Both teams received votes in both major polls this week.  Game time is 2:00 PM Central, and the game will be televised on ESPN News. 

Tags

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>