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Waiting in the Wings: UCF and Houston win C-USA openers; SMU falls to Ole Miss



Conference USA opened its in-conference schedule last night.

UCF opened with a 60-53 win at home over Tulane. (4,495) Marcus Jordan had a game-high 19 points. A.J. Rompza had 11 points and 4 assists. Keith Clanton had 9 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Both teams were 23-for-58 from the field, but UCF had edges on threes (6-13, to Tulane's 4-16) and free throws (8-13, to Tulane's 3-6).

Houston had to go extra frames, beating Tulsa 70-69 in OT. (3,258) They overcame an 8-point halftime deficit before blowing a lead of their own to force overtime, then everything went flat. Houston got lucky, as all their OT points came on free-throws. Jonathon Simmons led the Cougars with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Three other players had double-digit points.

On Tuesday night, SMU closed their OOC schedule with a 50-48 road loss to Ole Miss. The Rebels pulled away at the half, though SMU came back. They ended up missing a 3-pointer at the end that could've won the game. Robert Nyakundi had 12 points, and Jeremiah Samarrippas had 10 points.

On Saturday, UCF (11-3, 1-0) heads to East Carolina (9-5, 0-1), Houston (9-5, 1-0) heads to UTEP (7-8, 0-1), and SMU (8-6) opens their C-USA schedule at Tulsa (7-8, 0-1).

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