The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Women’s basketball shoots for success in Tulsa

The Conference USA Women’s Basketball Tournament begins today in Tulsa, Okla.

No. 6 SMU will play in the day’s finale against No. 11 UCF.

The Mustangs (17-11, 9-7) finished the season winning four of the last five games, with the only loss coming in New Orleans against the regular season champion Tulane Green Wave. The Golden Knights (8-21, 3-13) took a different road to the end of the season, losing each of their last five games.

The Mustangs only played the Golden Knights once this season, but it was an impressive game.

SMU did not allow UCF to get going offensively the entire game; in fact, UCF only tied the game once and never held a lead. The Mustangs had a convincing 18-point lead at halftime and finished the game with a 26-point advantage, 73-47.

Leading the way for the Mustangs were Brittany Gilliam and Janielle Dodds, who led the team with 17 points each, and Delisha Wills added 12 points. But it was the SMU defense that stepped up to secure the win.

The Mustangs blocked seven Golden Knight shots, forced 26 turnovers and allowed UCF to shoot just 30 percent from the floor.

SMU also showed clear dominance from the free-throw line. The Mustangs made all of their 19 attempts, with 11 coming in the second half. On the other side, the Golden Knights made just five of 15 attempts in the game.

In C-USA, all 12 teams make the conference tournament with the top four seeds getting first-round byes.The day will begin with No. 8 Marshall and No. 9 Houston, followed by No. 5 UTEP playing No. 12 Memphis and No. 7 Southern Miss against No. 10 Tulsa.

When the preseason poll came out, the Rice Owls were an almost unanimous pick to win the conference with Tulsa and SMU picking up one first-place vote each.

Last season the Mustangs entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed and gained a first-round bye. In the quarterfinals, SMU used three overtimes to defeat Tulane, but fell in the semi-finals against Rice.

This season the Mustangs will have to play an extra game to start the tournament, and a couple more if they want to walk away with the championship.

The first through fourth seeds gaining byes in the first round are Tulane, UAB, East Carolina and Rice.

If the Mustangs defeat UCF tonight they will go on to play the No. 3 seed ECU Pirates.

Tip-off for tonight’s game is at 8:30 p.m.

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