SMU beat Louisiana Tech this afternoon, 73-65. (1,596) La Tech closed in a little in the final 10, but were unable to catch the Mustangs. Aliaksei Patsevich finished with 11 points, and Ryan Manuel had 13 off the bench. They are 8-5.
Houston crushed Texas State last night, 94-71. (3,081) It was close at the half, but then Houston pulled away for good throughout the second half, leading by as many as 33 at one point before deciding they didn't need to play hard anymore. Joseph Young had 25 off the bench, and was 4-7 from three. TaShawn Thomas had 16 points and 16 rebounds. Four Houston players had at least 15 points. The Cougars go into C-USA play at 8-5.
UCF beat Rhode Island, 65-54, to win the UCF Holiday Classic. (5,230) The game was back-and-forth until about 5 minutes to go in the first half, when UCF took the lead for good. In his return from suspension, A.J. Rompza had 7 points and 6 assists. Isaiah Sykes had 14 points, and Keith Clanton had 13 points and 8 rebounds. Marcus Jordan had 12 points. UCF finished their OOC schedule at 10-3.
C-USA conference play begins Wednesday, January 4, with UCF hosting Tulane and Houston hosting Tulsa. SMU has one more OOC game on Tuesday against Ole Miss, then opens conference play next Saturday at Tulsa.
I'd like to wish everybody a Happy New Year.