Ashley Clark and Teanna Reid each scored in double figures to lead Tulsa to a 72-59 win over SMU on Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, Texas. TU moved to 14-10 on the season and 9-4 in the American Athletic Conference, while the Mustangs fell to 5-19 overall and 1-12 in the league.
This is the first time since 2006 that TU has picked up six-straight wins.
“That was our whole theme in preparing for this game, they are big and we have to attack big,” Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. “Our littles did a great job of attacking, getting to the rim and getting layup opportunities.”
Clark had a team-leading 19 points, Reid added 12 points, Kelsee Grovey posted nine points, and Mariah Turner and Ashley Hughes each had eight points. Clark also had a team-best seven rebounds and three steals, and Reid had four assists.
“Ashley Clark is one of those who were going off the attack and taking it to the rim,” Mossman said. “When she gets around the rim and finishes, she is pretty tough to stop.”
Tulsa had a 38-33 lead in rebounds and an 18-12 advantage in assists, while SMU had a 10-9 lead in steals and an 8-1 advantage in blocks.
The Golden Hurricane had 40 points in the paint, 29 points off the bench and 24 points off of turnovers, compared to the Mustangs' 12 points in the paint, 12 points off the bench and 15 points off turnovers.
TU shot 45-percent from the field, including 41-percent from three-point range, and 73-percent from the charity stripe, while SMU shot 35-percent from the field, 28-percent from behind the arc and 81-percent from the free throw line.
SMU was led by Gabrielle Wilkins with 19 points and Alicia Foling with 10 points. Destynee Hives-McCray posted eight rebounds, Wilkins had four steals and Stephanie Collins had four blocks.
In the second half, Tulsa continued to inch ahead, taking a 14-point lead (51-37) at the 10:28 mark, an 18-point advantage (57-39) at the 8:39 mark and a game-best 23-point lead (67-44) at the 5:22 and 4:36 marks (69-46).
SMU outscored Tulsa, 11-3, to pull to within 15 points at the 2:07 mark as Gabrielle Wilkins scored six of those points for the Mustangs and TU claimed a 13-point win.
After starting the game down, 5-0, TU scored the next six points to take a 6-5 advantage at the 16:26 mark. Hives-McCray took the lead back for the Mustangs, but Turner hit a basket at the 15:59 mark to give the Golden Hurricane the advantage. Tulsa climbed to a nine-point lead (16-7) at the 11:34 mark, but SMU pulled to within one (19-18) with 7:11 on the clock.
Tulsa scored the next 10 points to take a first-half best 11-point advantage (29-18) at the 3:35 mark. Aurmani DeGar hit a three-pointer 23-seconds later and neither team found the basket in the final 3:12 of the half as TU took a 29-21 lead into the break.
The Hurricane shot 37-percent from the field, but just 12-percent from three-point range, and was 2-of-5 from the charity stripe in the first frame, while the Mustangs shot 33-percent from the field, 37-percent from behind the arc and missed both free throw attempts.
Clark had a game-best nine-points in the first half, while Turner added six and Hughes tallied five points. Autura Campbell pulled down six rebounds, five of which were offensive boards, in the first half, and Clark had three steals.
Tulsa will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at USF. Game time is set for 6:00 pm Central in Tampa, Fla.