Mustangs seek to weather storm against Golden Hurricane

Feb 7, 2015 - 3:51 PM Tulsa, OK ( - The 23rd-ranked SMU Mustangs will try to rebound from their first loss in nine outings as they travel to face the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in American Athletic Conference action at the Reynolds Center on Saturday.

That won't be easy to do, however, as Tulsa enters the contest riding a 12- game win streak, and sporting a perfect 10-0 record in AAC play. The Golden Hurricane are now 17-5 on the season, with a 9-2 mark at the Reynolds Center. The team traveled to Houston to take on the Cougars Thursday, and took down the hosts, 57-44.

SMU watched its eight-game win streak come to an end against Cincinnati in Dallas, 62-54, on Thursday night. The Mustangs are still 9-2 against league opponents, however, and are 5-3 away from home.

This will be the 45th meeting between SMU and Tulsa in the all-time series. The Golden Hurricane own a 30-14 advantage over SMU. The programs last played in 2012-13 as members of Conference USA, but this is the first for the teams as members of the AAC.

Cincinnati attained the season sweep over SMU with the Thursday night win in Dallas. The typically defensive-minded Bearcats netted 56.8 percent of their shots from the floor and held the Mustangs to 36.5 percent shooting in the game. Cannen Cunningham netted 14 points off the bench to pace SMU in the loss, while Sterling Brown chipped in 12 points with seven rebounds. The Mustangs made only 3-of-14 from 3-point range in the defeat.

Some of SMU's best scorers weren't very effective on Thursday night, as the Bearcats did a solid job of keying in and locking down those players. Nic Moore netted eight points with six assists, though he still enters Saturday's clash sporting a team-high 14.2 ppg with another SMU-best 125 assists so far (5.4 apg to lead the AAC). Yanick Moreira chips in with 11.8 ppg behind Moore, but leads the Mustangs in rebounding with 6.4 boards per outing. Big man Markus Kennedy contributes 11.2 ppg to round out a trio of active double-digit scorers for SMU, which is turning in a league-leading 69.4 ppg as a unit.

Tulsa traveled to Houston in search of its 12th consecutive victory, and its 10th in conference play on Thursday night. The Golden Hurricane were able to stifle the Cougars on the defensive end, limiting the hosts to a mere 30.2 percent shooting from the floor. D'Andre Wright netted a team-high 13 points for the visitors, while Rashad Smith tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. James Woodard and Rashad Ray each added in 11 points for Tulsa, which connected on 48 percent of its field goal attempts in the win.

Woodard and Shaquille Harrison have been the two go-to scorers for the Golden Hurricane this season, netting 14.9 and 14.7 ppg, respectively, to rank third and fourth in the conference in individual scoring. They are the only two players for Tulsa averaging double-digit point totals this season, as the Golden Hurricane as a unit connect for 66.8 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting. The defensive side of the ball has been particularly strong for the AAC leaders, allowing opponents to score 60.5 ppg. Smith tops Tulsa in the rebounding department, pulling down 6.3 boards per outing.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!