Mustangs Advance to CIT Semifinals After Defeating Northern Iowa

March 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Erica Penunuri
epenunuri@smu.edu

SMU Men’s Basketball have not seen this many victories in a post season since 1956. Thanks to Monday night’s victory over Northern Iowa, 57-50, the ‘Stangs advance to the Semifinals in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

The game started off tight as the Northern Iowa Panthers took the lead. It didn’t take long for the Mustangs to regroup as they set the lead in little as 4 minutes into the game. From there on out, the boys not only shielded Iowa but set some great personal and team records.

Papa Dia led SMU with 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, making for his 16th double-double of the season (29th of his career).

Teammates Collin Mangrum and Robert Nyakundi followed with 11 points each. Mangrum also contributed with five rebounds and three assists while Nyakundi extended his personal best of three-pointers hit in a season to 93.

Mustangs stomped out Northern Iowa in rebounds and defensive playing.

SMU looks to break school history with making it to the fourth game in postseason. The Mustangs are the first to advance in the CIT semifinals. They either play the Santa Clara Broncos (21-14) or the San Francisco Dons (19-14) at Moody Coliseum on Friday at 7 p.m.

Mustangs Fall Short In C-USA Tournament To Rice

March 10, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By: Erica Penunuri
epenunuri@smu.edu

The SMU Mustangs (17-14) played the Rice Owls (14-17) Wednesday in the Conference USA tournament opening game.

The ‘Stangs last met the Owls two weeks ago with a solid victory here at home. Unfortunately, it was the Mustangs that came up short this time with an agonizing final score of 58-57.

Before the match, the ‘Stangs sat at 7th seed with Owls not too far behind at 10th.

Rice’s Rsalan Kazemi led with 24 points and 13 rebounds as the team held off the ‘Stangs in the final moments of the game.

Teammate Connor Frizzelle also contributed 12 points and Tamir Jackson 11. The Owls now advance to play No. 2 seed Tulsa in a quarterfinal contest on Thursday.

Senior forward Mustang Papa Dia, who was recently named C-USA Defense Player of the Year, led SMU with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Teammate Collin Mangrum hit 12 poitns and Jeremiah Samarrippas 11.

There were impressive last efforts made by the Mustangs when Mangrum created a steal putting the ‘Stangs a point away with 33 seconds on the clock. However, the final opportunity was missed as SMU struggled to get it in the bucket within the final moments.

Men’s Basketball Falls in Regular Season Finale

March 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

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.

SMU Men’s Basketball Falls Short to UTEP

February 13, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Erica Penunuri
epenunuri@smu.edu

SMU Mustangs’ (15-9, 6-4 C-USA) 5-game winning streak was snapped by leading Conference-USA team UTEP(19-5, 7-2 C-USA), 67-57 Saturday night.

Despite the ‘Stangs best efforts, the UTEP Miners (19-5, 7-2 C-USA) put up a solid defense, limiting SMU.

With less than three minutes remaining, senior Collin Mangrum made a layup that put the Mustangs up 61-57. However, the Miners shut them out and landed their victory with four free throws in the final 23 seconds.

Senior Papa Dia had 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for the Mustangs . Collin Mangrum and Jeremiah Samarrippas scored 12 points each.

There were impressive individual performances and career highs set by the Mustangs. Mangrum set a personal record of 8 rebounds and Dia reached double digits for the 22nd time this season. Samarrippas hit double digits for the fourth time in the past five games.

Miners’ Christian Polk led with 18 points and Randy Culpepper added 14.

The Mustangs are now tied for fifth in Conference USA and will be playing at Houston, Wednesday at 7p.m.

SMU’s Men’s Basketball Claims Victory at Home

January 22, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Papa Dia shoots the ball. Dia hit his career high with 102 shots Saturday. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

By Erica Penunuri
epenunuri@smu.edu

SMU Mustangs (11-8, 2-3 Conference USA) defeated the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (14-5, 3-3) Saturday 79-65. The Mustangs not only broke their two-game losing streak, but also set some school records.

The Mustangs shot 69.8 percent (30 of 43) from the field, tying the second-best shooting performance in school history.

“I’m really proud of our team,” said SMU men’s basketball Coach Matt Doherty. “They were extremely efficient. It’s the best I’ve seen my team play against a quality opponent.”

Senior forward Papa Dia shot an impressive 10-10 from the field; only the second C-USA player to hit at least 10 field goals without a miss. Dia led the Mustang attack with 23 points while contributing four blocks on defense. Dia is the 6th SMU player to reach over 100 blocks in their career.

“Pop’s [Papa Dia] was tremendous,” Doherty said. “His emotional maturity has really improved throughout the years making him a great leader.”

“Personally, I thought I took too many shots in the UB [University of Birmingham] game,” said Dia. “I am not a selfish guy. I want my players involved. It’s [basketball] is a team game. Coach said don’t worry about it. Your players want this. He helped my confidence.”

Robert Nyakundi scored 16 points, Collin Mangrum 15 and Rodney Clinkscales 12, resulting in the Mustang’s 9th victory in the last 11 home games. Nyakuni also broke a personal record with a career high of 9 assists.

Coach Doherty also credits Rodney Clinkscales, “It’s not easy to be a freshman point guard at a Division 1 level.”

The Mustangs hit the court again this Wednesday, against conference rival Tulsa. You can watch the game at Moody Coliseum or on the Time Warner Texas Channel at 2 p.m.

SMU Basketball sing the alma mater after their 79-65 win against Southern Mississippi. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG