Men's basketball strike gold versus Tulsa, win 71-65
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 8, 2013 00:03
SMU avenged the team’s loss against Tulsa earlier in the season at Moody Coliseum with a 71-65 road win over the Golden Hurricanes Wednesday night.
Nick Russell scored 19 points and Cannen Cunningham added 17 points and five blocks to lead the Mustangs. The 17 points for Cunningham were a career-high for him in C-USA play and the five blocks gave him his third game of the season with at least five rejections.
Towards the end of the game when Tulsa closed the Mustangs’ lead to one point, SMU made 7 of 9 free throws in the final 52 seconds to close out the six-point win.
Tulsa was lead by James Woodard’s 17 points and Scottie Haralson’s 13, but it was Shaquille Harrison who made the layup for Tulsa with 1:18 remaining to give the Hurricanes a chance to win.
Nick Russell then hit two free throws, but Tulsa missed two 3-point attempts on their next possession and that is when the Mustangs’ free throw shooting abilities helped SMU to the win and a 5-10 C-USA record.
SMU’s free-throw percentage on the season has been one of the strong points on the team with 4 of 5 starters averaging over 71 percent from the charity stripe and the team was able to close out the game from the free throw line and avoid another heartbreaking loss.
The Mustangs beat Tulsa physically inside the paint, scoring 40 points down low compared to just 18 from Tulsa. Cunningham and Williams controlled the paint with their physical play and that allowed SMU to grind away a win.
Jalen Jones had a sub-par game with just five points, five rebounds and three assists. The game was Jones’ third straight game that he did not score in double-digits.
SMU will not play in Moody Coliseum due to interior construction, but instead will play its next game at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas against UTEP at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 9.