Basketball takes down SMU on senior day

Sports editor Jaralynn Tammi Morellano says the Golden Hurricane dominated the Mustangs.

The Donald W. Reynolds Center was filled with disappointed SMU fans who traveled all this way to witness their team get shredded by the Golden Hurricane. The University of Tulsa’s women’s basketball team added another victory to its record after it beat SMU 91-73 on its Senior Day on Saturday, March 2. 1,583 fans watched TU’s record improve to 12-5 in the AAC (22-8 overall). SMU fell to 14-14 and 8-9 in the AAC.

“I’m really proud of this team and the way they competed today,” said Head Coach Angie Nelp. “I love the way that we had great teamwork and toughness. We shared the ball, and you with so many double figures in the scoring column.”

It only took Delanie Crawford half a minute into the game to take the first points, her layup going completely uncontested. Chantae Embry would make a three to give SMU false hope. The team took its first and only lead halfway through the first quarter and put the score 6-7. Temira Pointdexter’s trey would start the Golden Hurricane’s never-ending lead, and a combination effort from the team would maintain it.

Tulsa would lead by as much as seven points multiple times throughout the quarter. By the end, Poindexter and Crawford would combine for 13 points to give the Golden Hurricane a lead of 21-14.

In the second quarter, Tulsa would hold a lead as big as 11 points when Crawford sank a three-pointer to put it 27-16. Despite this significant lead, the Mustangs would continue to fire back. Both teams would score 21 points in this quarter to put the score 42-35, with Tulsa still leading by seven points.

The Golden Hurricane would turn up the heat in the third quarter and outscore the Mustangs 30-12. In an impressive offensive and defensive effort, Tulsa would make 10-of-16 shots while holding SMU at 5-of-17. An important piece to Tulsa’s success in this quarter was Hadley Periman, who secured three offensive boards and two defensive rebounds.

The Mustangs would be pushed into the dirt as Tulsa would amass a humongous 27-point lead. It would effectively close out the quarter dominating 72-47.

SMU would outscore Tulsa 26-19 in the fourth quarter to defend its honor. Despite such big efforts from the Mustang’s offense, Tulsa’s lead was just too strong to put an effective dent in. The Golden Hurricane’s tailwind would push it to a decisive victory of 91-73.
The celebration would not end there as Tulsa’s post-game senior celebration commenced. This season, TU honored seniors Katia Gallegos, Jessika Evans, and Katelyn Levings.

“We got to honor our three seniors today. It’s a bittersweet day, but we’re so excited to be able to honor Katia Gallegos, Jessika Evans and Katelyn Levings today. I’m really happy that our team was able to give them a win here, but I can’t say enough about them. We can talk about all their contributions from a basketball standpoint. The legacy that they’re leaving with our team is going to last forever.”

This win brings Tulsa a double-bye for The American Championship for the first time in program history. Tulsa remains in the top standings of the AAC and will use its newfound drive to begin preparing for the American Championships. The competition will begin on Monday, March 11.