DALLAS (AP) — Markus Kennedy sees a losing record in five games since SMU lost its chance for an undefeated season in a year that lacks the incentive of postseason play. And the senior forward had a message after the 16th-ranked Mustangs gave up an eight-point lead in the last 9 minutes of an 82-77 loss to Tulsa on Wednesday night.
DALLAS (AP) — Markus Kennedy sees a losing record in five games since SMU lost its chance for an undefeated season in a year that lacks the incentive of postseason play.
And the senior forward had a message after the 16th-ranked Mustangs gave up an eight-point lead in the last 9 minutes of an 82-77 loss to Tulsa on Wednesday night.
"We've got to get back to where we were at in the beginning of the year where we knew what we were about and we knew what we were going to go out there and do," said Kennedy, who scored all 13 of his points in the second half. "It's real easy just to get complacent and just to be nonchalant about the rest of the season. We can't let that happen."
Shaquille Harrison had 21 points, Pat Birt hit a crucial 3-pointer and scored 12 of his 17 points after halftime and Tulsa (16-8, 8-4 American Athletic) won for the eighth time in 10 games since an 0-2 conference start.
Birt was behind the Tulsa bench a year ago when the Golden Hurricane lost in Dallas with the AAC regular-season title on the line. This time he had a hand in ending his team's four-game skid against SMU.
"But you know, it's just another win," said Birt, who spent a year in junior college in West Texas coming out of the Dallas suburb of Plano. "Obviously, a big win, but we've got to just keep it going try to get first place."
Nic Moore scored 27 to lead the Mustangs (20-3, 9-3). They lost for the first time in 13 home games and dropped to 2-3 since their 18-0 start to a season that won't include the conference or NCAA tournaments because of sanctions.
Moore, who was 6 of 10 from long range, twice hit 3s to pull SMU within a point in the final minute. But Birt answered the first with a 3 and James Woodard followed the second with a pair of free throws after the Mustangs almost stole an inbounds pass with 20 seconds remaining. Woodard scored 20 points.
"Our offense was good enough," SMU coach Larry Brown said. "But we didn't get stops."
The Mustangs, who can't play in the conference tournament but can win the regular-season title, are a half-game ahead of Temple atop the AAC.
"Everybody has all these visions," Brown said. "I knew we were going to get exposed a lot when we were playing some really, really quality teams. And as the season goes on, you get in conference, you're playing against some really, really quality teams."
SMU had its biggest lead at 60-52 with about 9 minutes remaining was still up six with 6 minutes to go when Woodard hit a 3-pointer, Harrison scored inside and Birt made one of his three second-half 3-pointers to put Tulsa ahead 69-68 with 3:25 left.
D'Andre Wright put the Golden Hurricane ahead for good at 73-71 on a layup.
STOP THE BLEEDING
Brown and second-year Tulsa coach Frank Haith traded timeouts before the first media break in the second half to try to stop opposing runs, starting with SMU's Hall of Fame coach after a 9-0 Tulsa spurt broke a 36-all tie.
Hatch had to match it when Kennedy scored inside twice and blocked a shot before a floater in the lane by Moore pulled SMU to 45-42. The SMU run reached 11-0 — all the points by Kennedy and Moore — on Moore's 3-pointer for a 47-45 SMU lead.
"Showed a lot of resiliency out here tonight," Haith said. "Second half we got up eight or nine and we lose the lead."
Tulsa: Brandon Swannegan was called for a flagrant foul after a review when the 6-foot-9 forward backed into Moore and knocked the 5-9 guard to the floor. ... Harrison and Birt had five rebounds to lead Tulsa along with Rashad Smith.
SMU: Bryson DeChambeau, one of five golfers to win NCAA and U.S. Amateur titles in the same year, was honored during a timeout in the first half. DeChambeau left the golf team in the fall after it was banned from postseason play along with the basketball program. He is expected to turn pro after the Masters. ... Ben Moore had a game-high 11 rebounds. ... Shake Milton had 10 points and five assists after scoring a career-high 24 points in the first Tulsa meeting.
Tulsa: At Connecticut on Saturday.
SMU: Host Gonzaga on Saturday.