Jan. 22, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane Green Wave looks to extend its Conference USA win streak to three straight when it hosts the SMU Mustangs in Conference USA action at Fogelman Area this Wednesday at 7 p.m.
After suffering back-to-back losses to UAB and Southern Miss in its first two conference games of the year, Tulane (12-6, 2-2 C-USA) has rebounded with a pair of wins at Tulsa (67-65 OT) and at home against Rice (61-56) in its most recent outing.
Tulane is 9-3 in its last 12 games and has an overall record of 8-2 at home this season, but is just 1-1 in league play. During its nine wins, the Green Wave has put together three straight wins on three occasions, including one stretch of four-consecutive victories. A win over SMU would mark the fourth time this season that the Wave has won three of more consecutive games.
In its 10 home games this season, Tulane is averaging 71.5 points per contest, while limiting its opponents to 61.8 points per outing. TU is also shooting nearly 45.8 percent on its home floor compared to just 37.5 percent by its visitors.
For the year, Tulane is averaging 67.7 points and 35.2 rebounds per game and is shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 33.2 percent from behind the three-point line and 74.3 percent from the free-throw line.
David Gomez is one of three Green Wave players scoring in double figures with 13.8 points per game, while Kevin Sims and Robinson Louisme are second and third with 12.3 and 10.4 points per outing, respectively. Gomez and Louisme are also the team's top rebounders with 5.8 boards per game apiece, while Sims leads the squad in assists and steals with 3.9 and 1.7 per contest, respectively.
SMU (6-10, 0-3 C-USA) stumbled out to a 0-4 start this season, but rebounded with six wins in seven games and improved to 6-5. However, the Mustangs lost its final two non-league contests and enter Wednesday's match-up with Tulane stuck in a five-game slump. The Ponies fell at home to Tulsa (72-71) on a buzzer-beater in its last game.
SMU is 1-3 overall away from home this season and lost its only Conference USA road game at UTEP (79-66) in its league opener.
The Mustangs are averaging 66.2 points and 35.5 rebounds per game and are shooting 43 percent from the field, including 32.6 percent from beyond the arc, and 62.9 percent from the foul line.
Jon Killen is the top scorer for SMU with 11.7 points per game, while Bamba Fall and Papa Dia are second and third with 10.9 and 10.6 points per contest, respectively. Dia is the team's top rebounder with 6.8 boards per outing.
Wednesday's game marks the 20th all-time meeting between Tulane and SMU, and the Mustangs lead the series, 10-9. TU owns a 7-2 advantage in New Orleans, and the series is tied at 1-1 since SMU became a Conference USA member in 2005-06. The Green Wave has won the last six straight home games against SMU dating back to 1976. TU's last loss at home to the Mustangs was on Dec. 11, 1965 (78-69).
Tulane and SMU first met in 1959 in New Orleans and have met at least one time in each decade over the last 49 years. In the first-ever meeting, Tulane was a member of the Southeastern Conference, while SMU was affiliated with the Southwest Conference.
Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson and SMU skipper Matt Doherty were already familiar with each other prior to their arrival in Conference USA. Previously, the two battled for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title for several years. Doherty was the head coach at North Carolina, while Dickerson was the associate head coach at Maryland.
Tulane opens a season-long, three-game road swing at East Carolina this Saturday, Jan. 26 at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The contest will tip-off at 6 p.m. CST and will air locally on Cox Cable of New Orleans, Channel 10. TU then treks to Rice (2/2) and closes out the road swing at UTEP (2/6).