SMU (13-12) at Tulane (16-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: FSN. Home Record: SMU 6-5, Tulane 13-2. Away Record: SMU 5-5, Tulane 2-7. Neutral Record: SMU 2-2, Tulane 1-0. Conference Record: SMU 3-9, Tulane 4-6. Series Record: SMU leads, 15-12.
GAME NOTES: The Mustangs of SMU pull into the Big Easy to take on the Tulane Green Wave in a Conference USA matchup at Devlin Fieldhouse.
The Green Wave had a modest two-game win streak snapped when they fell to Southern Miss on the road on Wednesday night, 71-60. Tulane has now lost three of its last five contests.
SMU has dropped two of three, but is coming off a 61-39 win at Rice last Saturday. Overall, the Mustangs are 2-5 in their last seven games.
The Mustangs lead the all-time series with the Green Wave, 15-12. SMU beat Tulane on Jan. 12 in Dallas, 59-53, behind a balanced scoring effort. Nick Russell, Jalen Jones, Ryan Manuel and London Giles all scored in double figures for the Ponies. The two schools split a pair of meetings last season, with each defending its home court.
Ryan Manuel scored 16 points, Jalen Jones added 15 and SMU rolled to an easy victory last Saturday night over Rice, setting a new school-record for fewest points allowed in a C-USA contest. The Mustangs also got 12 points from Nick Russell, plus 13 rebounds and six blocks from Cannen Cunningham. SMU took control with a 24-7 run that spanned parts of both halves, then went on to lead by as many as 24. Rice shot just 20 percent from the floor, made only 10 field goals and was outrebounded by a 40-30 margin.
This season, SMU has run out the same starting five in all 25 games and has been led in scoring and rebounding by Jones with 15.2 and 8.2 while shooting just over 50.0 percent from the floor. Russell is second in scoring with 14.3 ppg and he averages nearly 37 minutes per game. Led by Hall-of-Fame coach Larry Brown, defense is what has kept this team afloat, as the squad holds opponents to 61.4 ppg and just 38.9 percent shooting from the floor.
A second straight come-from-behind win for Tulane was too much to ask for on Wednesday night, as the Green Wave overcame a 16-point deficit to take a late lead only to fall, 71-60, to Southern Miss. Josh Davis led Tulane with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season. Ben Cherry finished with a career-high 17 points on 5-of-5 from 3-point range. The Green Wave shot 44.7 percent from the floor, including 54.2 percent in the second half to spark the comeback. Tulane did manage just a 10-of-17 showing at the free-throw line, but knocked down 8-of-19 3-point tries.
Davis is averaging a double-double with 17.6 ppg and 10.0 rpg, leading the team in both categories. While Ricky Tarrant averages 15.2 ppg and Jordan Callahan averages 10.6, Davis is the only player in double-figure scoring that shoots over 40.0 percent from field, at 49.5 percent. The squad averages just 41.4 percent from the floor this season, but also hold opponents to 43,5 percent shooting and 61.4 ppg.
These are two defensive-minded squads, so expect a low-scoring game. Give the edge to the home team, but it should be nip-and-tuck throughout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Tulane 62, SMU 60
02/16 10:36:53 ET