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


Mustangs calm Golden Hurricane in overtime win

 Mustangs calm Golden Hurricane in overtime win
Photo by Austin Kilgore, The Daily Campus
Mustangs calm Golden Hurricane in overtime win

Mustangs calm Golden Hurricane in overtime win (Photo by Austin Kilgore, The Daily Campus)

Heading into Thursday’s game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-18, 5-12 WAC) in Moody Coliseum, members of the men’s basketball team (14-12, 9-8 WAC) had plenty to be optimistic about. After all, the team had won four consecutive home games while the Golden Hurricane had an 0-7 record on the road against WAC opponents.

SMU started the game on the right foot as forward Patrick Simpson hit two free throws and a field goal within the first minute of play.

The Mustangs led, 4-2, although it was the last time they would have a lead in regulation.

SMU’s shooting hand suddenly went cold as the team missed seven of its next eight shots. Meanwhile, Tulsa stormed up a 15-2 run.

With 4:17 to play in the half, freshman Brett McDade sank two consecutive free throws to give the Golden Hurricane a 14-point advantage at 30-16.

“I was disappointed with our concentration in the first half,” head coach Jimmy Tubbs said. “We were not a sharp basketball team.”

Tulsa out-rebounded the Mustangs, 25 to 14, in the half. In addition, Golden Hurricane players hit nearly half of their shots (13 of 27) while SMU shot just 26.7 percent.

Coach Tubbs found his team down by 10 at halftime, leading to a very blunt locker room speech.

“I told the kids, ‘It’s up to you guys to win — if you want to win,’” he said.

After coming back from 16 down to beat Louisiana Tech at Moody last month, the Mustangs knew they could win. What they needed, however, was somebody to step up and take charge.

Guard Bryan Hopkins knew this was his chance to answer Tubbs’ pre-season request for him to become a more team-oriented leader.

Hopkins helped SMU close to within two points when he hit a layup and free throw with just over 12 minutes remaining.

Golden Hurricane guard Seneca Collins hushed the enthused crowd, however, when he drained a three-pointer just 10 seconds later. The Dallas area native, who hit four shots from beyond the arc, put his team up, 48-43.

The Golden Hurricane seemed to regain the same offensive momentum that helped it attain a double-digit first half lead when 6-foot-9-inch forward Guilherme Teichmann hit a layup to put Tulsa on top by 12. Teichmann led all players with 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Down by 10 with 3:38 to play, things looked bleak for the Mustangs, who were in danger of handing the Golden Hurricane just its second road win all year.

“We knew we could beat Tulsa,” Hopkins said. “We knew we were the better team.”

Following an SMU timeout, he let this attitude manifest itself on the court. Hopkins, who finished with a team-high six assists and six offensive rebounds, brought the Mustangs back to within five when he hit a three as the clock reached 2:56.

“We knew we had to get [the deficit] back to single digits,” Tubbs recalled. “Once we did that, we had a fighting chance.”

A jump shot by SMU’s Simpson with two minutes left cut the Tulsa lead to 61-58, and the 3,106 Moody Coliseum fans backed their team more vocally than at any other point in the game.

Though free throws by Golden Hurricane guards McDade and Jarius Glenn kept the Mustangs at a distance, Tulsa could not match Hopkins’ five points in the final minute-and-a-half of play.

On SMU’s last possession of the half, center Eric Castro threw up a left-handed shot while falling away from the basket to knot the score at 65.

Guard Justin Isham got a hand on Chris Wallace’s last-second three-point attempt, sending the Mustangs into their fourth overtime of the season.

In the extra period, SMU nailed each of their three shots from the field while making good on nine free throws en route to 16 overtime points. SMU won, 81-74.

“We did it again,” Simpson said of his team’s third overtime victory on the year. “It was a very emotional win for us.”

Though five players (Castro, Hopkins, Isham, Simpson and freshman Derrick Roberts) combined to play almost 90 percent of the game, they must bounce back quickly to host the Rice Owls (16-10, 10-6 WAC) tomorrow evening.

As the final home game of the season, the contest will honor the five seniors on the squad — Castro, Isham, Simpson and guards Mike Dement and Brian Miller.

“I don’t think we’re going to have the same first half against Rice,” Simpson joked.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.

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