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

SMU men’s basketball extends win streak to five with 66-61 victory over Tulane

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SPENCER EGGERS/The Daily Campus
SMU forward Papa Dia blocks a layup attempt from Tulane guard Kendall Timmons during play Wednesday evening inside Moody Coliseum. Dia had three blocked shots in the Mustang’s 66-61 win over the Green Wave.

SMU forward Papa Dia blocks a layup attempt from Tulane guard Kendall Timmons during play Wednesday evening inside Moody Coliseum. Dia had three blocked shots in the Mustang’s 66-61 win over the Green Wave. (SPENCER EGGERS/The Daily Campus )

Riding the longest conference winning streak since the 1999-2000 season, the SMU men’s basketball team lengthened their streak to five consecutive wins following a 66-61 win over Tulane University (12-10, 2-7 C-USA) Wednesday night at Moody Coliseum.

“It wasn’t a pretty win but I think in the last few years we might not have won this game and yet we held on and kept our composure,” head coach Matt Doherty said.

Tulane, with its eighth consecutive loss, has not won a game since defeating SMU on Jan. 8. The Green Wave’s losing streak marks the longest current streak in C-USA play this season.

Starting the game with a commanding 9-3 run, SMU’s defense managed to hold Tulane off until 10 minutes in when Kendall Timmons tipped in a shot to tie the game at 14-14. As the clock wound down, SMU and Tulane traded points before Tulane took a brief one point lead with under one minute left.

The team had only 36 shots in the night, the fewest of the season, but still managed to overcome their opponent.

Scrambling to take back the lead, Papa Dia scored on a lay up to end the half with the Mustangs leading 31-30.

In the first half, SMU went 6-for-10 in threes and shot 61 percent from the field compared to only 44 percent from behind the arc and 12-of-24 from the field from Tulane.

But as both teams struggled to put points on the board in the second half, SMU’s Collin Mangrum scored his first bucket of the night, a three-pointer at the 13:41 mark, to put SMU in the lead by three. But the home team’s lead was fleeting.

The Green Wave regained the lead with just over six minutes left with a shot from Johnny Mayhane but it was short-lived.

SMU’s final lead came from two successful free throws by senior Papa Dia, sparking a 13-5 run and holding Tulane to only free throws until the final 37 seconds of the game.

“[Dia] draws a lot of attention,” Doherty said. “The opposition really focuses in on him and when you surround him with good shooters, it’s kind of like pick your poison. If a team is going to stop [Dia] we’re going to knock in some threes. If you’re going to take away the three-point line, we’ll get [Dia] in the post.”

The Mustangs, who continue to lead the league in field goal and three-point percentages, finished the night shooting 64 percent from the field and 59 percent in threes. Led by Dia with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds on the night for his 10th double double of the season.

Despite Tulane posting better numbers on the boards, SMU also out-out-rebounded their opponent, collecting only four offensive rebounds and 20 defensive boards, compared to Tulane’s nine and 13, respectively.

SMU plays on the road Saturday against conference leader, University of Texas at El Paso Miners (18-5, 6-2 C-USA) at 8 p.m.

The Mustangs return to Moody Coliseum on Feb. 19 to host the Tulsa University (13-10, 6-3 C-USA).

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