Mustangs look to get back on track tonight

Get everything you need to know before the Mustangs host Rice tonight.

For the second consecutive Saturday, SMU coach Matt Doherty felt as if his team was good enough to beat one of the Conference USA elite.

And for the second consecutive Saturday, he was left giving a postgame pep talk to a team he can't let get discouraged this close to the C-USA tournament.

SMU lost 74-66 to Tulsa on Feb. 19, one week after losing a close one to league-leading UTEP on the road.

"We turned the ball over way too much," Doherty told the Dallas Morning News. "Give Tulsa some credit for that, but there were some sloppy passes that we're better than. ... We were there (at the end). You'd just like to finish the job and hopefully not be in that position."

Finishing the job is what Doherty hopes his team does with just four regular season C-USA games remaining between Feb. 23 and March 5. Already this team had secured more wins than any of his previous four Mustangs squads. With a Feb. 16 win over Houston, SMU's first in Houston in more than a decade, the team guaranteed itself a .500 record for the first time since the 2004-05 Mustangs went 14-14.

But getting complacent now would just leave a bad taste in the team's mouth for the offseason. Finishing strong, unfortunately, is not what happened Feb. 19 against Tulsa.

"You've got to keep going and keep going and make plays and not have any careless mistakes, which unfortunately we did," SMU senior guard Mike Walker said.

Notes: --With seven 3-pointers made in a Feb. 19 home loss to Tulsa, the Mustangs set a program record for 3-pointers made in a season (220). The previous record of 215 was set in the 2006-07 season.

--A couple of streaks ended for SMU in mid-February. With a 66-51 win on Feb. 16, the Mustangs won at Houston for the first time in more than a decade. Three days later, the Mustangs fell at home to the Tulsa, 74-66, snapping a three-game home winning streak.

--SMU matched a season high with 19 turnovers in a Feb. 19 loss to Tulsa. That upped the team's per-game average to 13.5.

BY THE NUMBERS- .500 -- With a Feb. 16 win over Houston, SMU clinched at least a .500 record this season. It is SMU's first .500 season since the Mustangs went 14-14 in the 2004-05 season.

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