Special to RattleandHumSports.com
SMU (12-10, 2-5 C-USA) hosts Houston (13-7, 2-5 C-USA) on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Mustangs are 6-3 at home this year and enter the game off a 68-57 win at Marshall on Wednesday. The Mustangs are looking to even the season series with the Cougars after falling 78-67 in Houston on Jan. 9.
UP NEXT: SMU hosts Memphis on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before games at Rice (Feb. 9) & at Tulane (Feb. 16).
LAST GAME (W, 68-57 – at Marshall on Jan. 30): HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Jalen Jones had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Ryan Manuel scored 17 points to lead SMU to a 68-57 victory over Marshall in a Conference USA game on Wednesday night. Nick Russell had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Mustangs (12-10, 2-5), who had lost three in a row and six of their past seven. It was SMU’s first road victory in the conference and the Mustangs’ first win against Marshall in school history. Elijah Pittman had 15 points and eight rebounds, D.D. Scarver scored 15, DeAndre Kane had 13, and Dennis Tinnon pulled down a season-high 17 rebounds to go with eight points for the Thundering Herd (9-12, 2-4), who have lost three in a row. SMU shot 48.1 percent (25 of 52) to Marshall’s 33.9 (20 of 59). SMU led 35-23 at the break, and the closest Marshall got in the second half was five points at 51-46 on Tinnon’s layup at 8:41. SMU ended the game with 41 rebounds, the second highest total of the season (49 at Hofstra – 12/1/12) for the Mustangs.
THE SERIES VS. HOUSTON (25-45): SMU and Houston are meeting for the 71st time with UH holding a 45-25 lead, including a win at the Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 9. The in-state rivals are also meeting for the 57th time in a league game. The teams spent 21 years together in the Southwest Conference, are in their eighth season as C-USA opponents and will both move to the Big East in July of 2013. In the most recent meeting at Moody Coliseum, SMU won 70-54 on Jan. 18, 2012 behind London Giles who scored a then-career-high 16 points and tied a career-high with five 3-pointers. Robert Nyakundi added 15 points and Shawn Williams and Jalen Jones 11 each for SMU. The teams split the season series last year, each winning on the road. The Mustangs earned their first win at Houston in over a decade with a convincing 65-51 win on Feb. 16, but Houston edged SMU 70-68 at Moody Coliseum on Jan. 15, 2011. Before the teams became C-USA opponents, SMU won three straight including the two non-conference meetings that occurred between the breakup of the Southwest Conference and becoming C-USA opponents. The teams spent 21 seasons in the SWC with the Mustangs trailing 28-14, but SMU does hold an all-time 6-5 edge in tournament play: 2-1 in NCAA Tournament action and 4-3 in SWC Tournament games. SMU is 0-1 against the Cougars in the C-USA Tournament. The two met in the last SWC Tournament at Reunion Arena in Dallas with SMU scoring a 62-57 win over the Cougars in 1996. The Ponies won NCAA Regional matchups in 1956 and 1965, but lost in 1967. The eighth-ranked Mustangs won 89-76 and over 17th-ranked Houston in the 1956 NCAA Tournament. SMU eventually advanced to the 1956 Final Four.