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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 Juniors Jaisan Avery and Kayla Spears paint together during Curlchella hosted by SMU Fro, Dallas Texas, Wednesday April 17, 2024 (©2024/Mikaila Neverson/SMU).
SMU Fro's Curlchella recap
Mikaila Neverson, News Editor • April 23, 2024

    The Mustangs top Tulsa 103-70 on Saturday

    Phelps and Harris lead scoring
    Brian Richardson
    SMU Guard Zhuric Phelps shoots over Tulsa guard Isaiah Barnes for a three-point shot.

    The SMU Men’s basketball team dominated the visiting Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Saturday, defeating them 103-70 in Moody Coliseum.

    SMU (13-5 overall, 4-1 conference) started the matchup strong, taking the lead and scoring 12 of the first 14 points of the game. The Mustangs’ scoring streak would not slow down from this point on.

    Guard pair Zhuric Phelps and Chuck Harris led SMU’s 103-point performance securing 18 points each. Close behind in this effort was senior forward Samuell Williamson who earned the Mustangs 10 rebounds over the course of the matchup.

    “These are the kind of offensive numbers you would expect to see when we’re playing our first games of the year in non-conference, maybe playing division two, division three schools,” said SMU senior J.P. Braunfisch who supported the Mustangs from the stands Saturday. “It’s definitely encouraging to see the offense put out that kind of output.”

    SMU’s offense did not let up in the second half. The Mustangs’ extended their lead from 20 points at the end of the first to 33 points at the end of the game.

    However, during the post-game press conference, SMU head coach Rob Lanier harped on the Mustang’s defense performance during the game.

    “There’s a lot of teams with length” Lanier said. “It’s about effort and connectivity and buy-in and want-to and all of those things. Not everyone who has length is good on defense. And we’re striving to be really, really good.”

    Lanier then emphasized that statistics don’t necessarily show the whole story of a game.

    “Sometimes the numbers say we had a good night when we didn’t, like [in the Mustangs’ previous meet with Temple] Temple shot 37% but we didn’t have a great defensive performance for that game,” Lanier said. “Tonight, certainly, was a much better effort than our previous game.”

    Tulsa (10-8, 1-5) did not leave Dallas without some outstanding scoring from its players, including 19 from guard PJ Haggerty and 15 from forward Jared Garcia.

    However, this Mustangs’ team delivers, as some fans noted.

    The SMU crowd roars after the Mustangs score.

    “Almost every game you’ve got a different lead scorer,” Braunfisch said. “Sometimes it’s Zhuric, but sometimes it’s Chuck Harris, sometimes it’s Samuell Williamson, sometimes it’s Jaylon Smith. I think we’re more than capable of stepping up.”

    Junior sports management major Harrison Becking also noticed the scoring depth. “(Phelps) is one of our best players but this team doesn’t have, like one huge superstar,” he said. “He’s one of the better-known names, but like Keon (Ambrose-Hylton), Chuck Harris, all those guys, they’re all so good. They all work together so well.”

    The fans also came ready to cheer on Saturday. The stands were loud from tip-off to the final whistle, especially when guard Jalen Smith hit a step-back three-point shot to extend SMU’s lead to triple digits.

    “I was glad to see a ton of fans come out and support [the team], especially the student section,” said sophomore Savannah Hunsucker. “I feel like it’s usually not so full, and it was really awesome getting to see some of the faces that we don’t get to usually see on the court.”

    The Mustangs North Texas Mean Green on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Denton and will be back home on February 1st at 6 p.m. against Tulane.

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