Tulane (9-1) vs. SMU (11-1)
Dec. 31, 1999, 2 p.m. (CST)
Fogelman Arena (3,600)
Game Data: Tulane (9-1) puts its eight-game win streak on the line this afternoon against SMU (11-1) in Fogelman Arena (3,600) ... The Wave has posted come-from-behind wins in its last four games ... In the Perry Clark era, Tulane is 47-29 (.618) in December ... Tulane has won its last two games played on New Year’s Eve, including an 88-74 win over Tulsa in 1996, and has complied a 3-4 record all-time in games played on Dec. 31.
On the Air: The Tulane Basketball Network will broadcast every Tulane regular season game. The flagship station is 50,000 watt WWL-AM 870 in New Orleans. “Voice of the Green Wave” Ken Berthelot is in his 11th year of calling the action. Joining Berthelot on the home broadcasts will be color analysts Curtis Amann or Rob Koonce. At least seven of Tulane’s regular season games will be televised this season. Four appearances are scheduled for the ESPN family, two for CSSE and one for Fox Sports South.
Tulane Head Coach Perry Clark: Perry Clark is in his 11th year as the Green Wave head coach with a record of 174-135 (.563). Clark has guided Tulane to five 20-win seasons, six postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 3 NIT) and the Metro Conference championship in 1992. He was the 1992 National Coach of the Year and a two-time Metro Conference Coach of the Year (1991, 1992). Only one other coach in school history has more wins or a longer tenure. He is assisted by Anthony Anderson, Greg Gary and Brock Kantrow. Clark is 3-1 against SMU.
The Series: Today’s contest is the 16th meeting of the two schools with SMU holding an 8-7 series advantage. Tulane has won the last three meetings, including a 103-92 (OT) win on Dec. 5, 1992, in the last meeting. SMU hasn’t won in Fogelman Arena since Dec. 11, 1965 (78-69). Tulane has a 5-2 record in series games played in New Orleans, 2-6 in Dallas, and 0-0 in neutral-site games.
Last Time Out: Keyed by solid defense and strong shooting in the second half, Tulane defeated Howard and won its eighth consecutive game. Trailing 28-24 at halftime, Tulane shot 63.3 percent from the floor and used a 37-14 run to take control of the contest. Sterling Davis, one of three Wave players in double figures, finished with 14 points, while Morris Jordan added 13 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
Scouting SMU: The Mustangs enter play this afternoon with an 11-1 record and a seven-game streak after defeating Navy, 87-78, on Dec. 23. SMU’s only loss of the year came against Missouri (63-60) on Dec. 1. As a team, SMU shoots 44.6 percent from the floor and posts a +16.1 scoring margin and +5.8 rebounding margin. Individually, four players average in double figures, led by Willie Davis’ 17.8 points per game scoring average.
On the Defensive: The Tulane defense has been one of the team's strong suits all season, as the Wave has held the opposition to an average of 59.8 points per game. In the Wave's current eight-game win streak, the team has allowed just 451 points (56.4 average). That's the fewest points allowed by a Tulane team over an eight-game period in the Perry Clark era. The last time a Tulane defense performed better over an eight-game stretch came during the 1984-85 season, when the team allowed 450.
Streaks: The current streak is also Perry Clark's fourth winning streak of eight games or more. Before Clark resurrected the program in 1989-90, Tulane had not had a streak of at least eight games since 1949. That team won 12 straight games.
Coming From Behind: In erasing a nine-point second half deficit in Wednesday's win, Tulane has won each of the last four games in a come-from-behind manner. Each of these wins has been sparked by a big second half run: 20-10 vs. Texas A&M, 17-3 at Lamar, 19-6 vs. N.C. State, and 37-14 vs. Howard.
Milestones: A win today by the Green Wave would give Perry Clark 175 career coaching victories. That would leave him 85 wins behind Clifford Wells, the winningest coach in school history (259 wins). Additionally, a win today would accomplish two feats: it would give Tulane its first undefeated month of more than six games since January 1997. It would also give the Wave its highest win total ever prior to January 1.
On The Perimeter: Led by the duo of Sterling Davis and Dylan Osean, Tulane continues to show a vast improvement in shooting percentages over last season. Davis and Osean have a combined 53.8 field goal percentage (92-for-171) and the 1999-2000 Green Wave is shooting 43 percentage points better than last season. The Wave has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in four of 10 games to date this season, equaling the entire season total last year.
Closing out the 20th Century: As the 20th century comes to a close, here is a quick at some win-loss numbers... Entering play today, Tulane has an all-time record of 967-947 (.505) in 89-plus years of basketball. The Wave record in venerable Fogelman Arena is 482-237 (.670). Perry Clark's record in Fogelman is 110-40 (.733).
Tulane will open Conference USA play with a pair of road games. The Wave travels to
Louisville on Jan. 3 (6:30 p.m. CST) and to Houston on Jan. 8 (7:35 p.m. CST).