Men’s Basketball Falls in Regular Season Finale

March 6, 2011  

By Marissa Belske
msbelske@smu.edu

SMU men’s basketball (17-13, 8-8 C-USA) came up short against the UTEP Miners (23-8, 11-5 C-USA) Saturday night in their regular season finale. UTEP clinched a first round bye in the Conference USA tournament by defeating the Mustangs 59-56.

Senior Guard Collin Mangrum looks for a shot as Junior Guard Justin Haynes makes a screen on the UTEP defense. (PHOTO BY KATHERINE BRUCE / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Senior Papa Dia led the Mustang attack with 19 points and eight rebounds in his last home game as a Mustang. Dia, Conference USA player of the year candidate, is now ranked fifth all-time at SMU for career rebounds and blocked shots.

Seniors Michael Walker and Collin Mangrum also put on strong performances in their last home games as Mustangs. Walker contributed 11 points while Mangrum contributed 14.

Robert Nyakundi was 2-3 from three-point range, improving his season percentage at three-point distance to .489 (88/180). These numbers rank him third overall in the NCAA. The junior has made 88 three-pointers this season, setting a new SMU record for most three-pointers in a season season.

The Mustangs take a time-out as Coach Matt Doherty discusses plays with the assistant coaches. (PHOTO BY KATHERINE BRUCE / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

UTEP will carry the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the Conference USA tournament. The Miners will host the tournament.

The Mustangs return to the court on March 9 at the Conference USA tournament in El Paso, Texas. The Mustangs will be the No. 7 or No. 8 seed going in to the tournament on Wednesday.

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