The Mustangs (13-4 overall, 4-0 in Conference USA), who currently stand in first place in the league and were swept by Tulsa last season, led by just eight points at halftime, but exploded in the second half with a 24-2 run. SMU out-boarded TU 47-37, got some points off of second and third-chance attempts and quickly rebounded Tulsa’s missed shots.
TU (7-12, 2-4) could only convert on 23 percent (6-of-26) in the first half and finished with 25 percent (15-of-60) for the game. The Hurricane could not make a 3-point basket and was 70 percent (16-of-23) in free throws.
"We were hanging with them (in the first half) despite shooting 23 percent,” Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman said. “That's the problem. We just struggled, struggled, struggled to score. Give SMU credit. They were really good. We held them to 34 percent in the first half, and they're a 44 percent shooting team. Defensively, we hung in there for a while, but with our not making shots, our defense didn't get it done."
SMU shot 45 percent (28-of-62) in field goals, connected 33 percent (3-of-9) from the 3-point range and hit 75 percent (12-of-16) in free shots.
The game was tight in the first half. The Golden Hurricane drew to within 18-17, but went down by 10 after a 9-0 Mustang run. Jessica McQuinn would snap the funk with a field goal right before the buzzer, making the score 27-19 at halftime.
SMU would break things open. It added a free throw from Keena Mays at the start of the second half before Tulsa got a bucket from Tiffani Couisnard, then followed up with the explosion and was up 52-23 with 12:30 left in the game. The largest margin came with 5:37 left when the score was 65-32.
Mays led the Mustangs with 12 points. Akil Simpson got 11 and Destynee Hives-McCray and Lexus Williams each had 10.
Kelsee Grovey led Tulsa with a game-high 13 points, most which came late.
Tulsa meets UTEP on the road at 8 p.m. Thursday