[CONFERENCE USA] UCF and SMU got hat tricks from McKauly Tulloch and Arthur Ivo as they held off Memphis and Marshall, respectively, by scores of 4-3 to advance to the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla.
All of 77 fans were on hand as Tulloch, the Jamaican transfer from Akron, won the UCF game against Memphis with his third goal four minutes into overtime.
The hat trick was the first for the program since 2004. UCF’s leading scorer, now with 15 goals on the season, Tulloch entered the match without a goal since Oct. 1 as he battled injuries throughout the month.
Chandler Gagnon had scored in the 89th minute for Memphis to send the contest into overtime.
“It never goes according to script,” UCF coach Bryan Cunningham said. “We have an experienced group. They kept battling and persevered. I couldn’t be happier for our players.”
UCF advances to Friday's semifinals against No. 2 seed UAB.
Ivo's hat trick was the first of his career hat trick for SMU, which rallied from 2-1 down to beat the Herd.
The Brazilian put the Mustangs on the board with his first goal in the 14th minute and later scored the go-ahead goal in the 69th minute from the penalty spot and and insurance goal seven minutes later.
Tyler Engel had scored for the Mustangs to make it 2-2. Tom Jackson had two goals for Marshall, and Matt Risher added the third.
SMU will face No. 1 seed South Carolina on Friday.