Mustang Basketball Brings Home a Solid Victory

February 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Erica Penunuri

It has been over a decade since Mustangs men’s basketball last defeated the Houston Cougars. Wednesday night’s game disrupted that curse as the SMU Mustangs (16-9, 7-4 C-USA) brought it big with Papa Dia posting 27 points, defeating the Houston Cougars (12-12, 4-7 C-USA).

SMU started strong and ended strong in shooting 62.5 percent in the first half and taking a 39-32 lead into the second half.

The ‘Stangs were able to maintain their lead with Junior forward Robert Nyakundi boosting the score with 16 points and putting the Cougars through an 8 minute scoring drought.

“I thought we showed tremendous poise in the second half building that lead, great stops on defense and took better care of the ball in the second half,” said head coach Matt Doherty. “We were very, very patient and made them chase and as a result got great shots in the second half.”

The Mustangs have won 6 of their past 7 games and had a season-high of 13 steals – the most ever for the ‘Stangs in Conference USA game. The Mustangs shot 56.8 percent from the field.

The ‘Stangs are fifth in C-USA and look for their 7th win this Saturday at home against Tulsa at 2:00pm.

SMU Men’s Basketball Falls Short to UTEP

February 13, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Erica Penunuri

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.

Women’s Tennis Team Serves Up Great Play for SMU at ITA Kick-Off Weekend

February 1, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Ali Williams

The No. 27 SMU women’s tennis team (4-1) had an exceptional showing this Sunday and Monday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee. Both days the Mustangs faced toe-to-toe showdowns with their opponents, resulting in a loss in round one and a win in round two.

On Sunday the Mustangs battled No. 17 Ole Miss (2-1), with SMU suffering a close defeat in the final match after a 3-3 deadlock score.

SMU’s Heather Steinbauer (7-5), athlete in the deciding match, did not easily give up the win to the Rebels. Both of the sets that Ole Miss’s Caroline Rhode-Moe won to secure the victory were tiebreak wins of 7-6(4).

The Mustangs took the doubles point, but only won two of the six singles matches against the Rebels.

On Monday SMU came back to defeat No. 33 Ohio State (2-2 overall) with a final outcome of 4-3 in another grueling day of competition.

The deciding match came down to the efforts of SMU sophomore Edyta Cieplucha (6-3), who pulled out a victory in a win-loss-win three set engagement with Buckeye Kelsey Haviland, ranked No. 125.

The match lasted for four hours with set scores of 7-6(5), 2-6, and finally 7-5 for Cieplucha to capture the win for SMU.

Mustang tennis came out on top with victories in four out of the six singles matches while Ohio State took the doubles point.

Monday’s play moved SMU head coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner into a second place tie with Barbara Camp for the all-time career wins list with 86 wins. The six-year head coach holds SMU’s winning percentage record of .782 (86-24).

The Mustang women’s tennis team hits the court again on February 5th and 6th when they take on Wichita State in Wichita, Kansas followed by No. 64 Oklahoma State in Edmond, Oklahoma.

For more information, check out

Nyakundi Brings Home a Win for Stangs

January 31, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Erica Penunuri

Mustangs (13-8, 4-3 Conference USA) grab another victory while on the road Saturday defeating Rice 75-68.

Robert Nyakundi helped bring home the win for the ‘Stangs by scoring a career high of 29 points, including seven three-pointers.

Papa Dia contributed 19 points and Mike Walker 13 to SMU, who have one their third game in a row.

The Owls (10-11, 2-5) led the majority of the first half, as Arsalan Kazemi scored 21 points and had a game-high of 16 rebounds.

However, Rice struggled to lock down their lead when Papa Dia scored 2:02 in the frist half, handing the lead over to the Stangs 29-27.

Nyakundi and Collin Mangrum followed with 3-pointers with 1:01 to go, and the score at 35-27, SMU.

After the Mustangs’ performance, Rice was unable to gain back their lead.

You can catch the Mustangs next match, at SMU. They play Wednesday, at 7:00p.m. at Moody Colliseum against East Carolina.

Three-Pointer Lands Victory for Mustangs Against Tulsa

January 26, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Erica Penunuri

With 1.1 second remaining in the game, junior forward, Robert Nyakundi sunk a 3-pointer from the left corner to seal the Mustangs’ victory over Tulsa 59-58, on Wednesday night.

The clutch shot was the only basket made by the Mustangs (12-8, 2-4 C-USA) in the final 8:20, yet the Golden Hurricane (10-10, 3-3) struggled to capitalize. In the final 8:33 Tulsa missed seven free throws and made only three baskets.

Hurricane’s Justin Hurt put Tulsa in the lead, 58-56, with 8.8 seconds remaining.

Senior forward, Papa Dia made 19 points, gaining back the Mustangs’ lead, while Jeremiah Samarrippas scored 13 points and Nyakundi finished with 10.

Dia managed to gather 8 rebounds and finish with six blocks to lift the ‘Stangs.

Wednesday’s victory ended Tulsa’s 10-game winning streak against the Mustangs. This was the first victory for SMU coach Matt Doherty in 11 tries against his former assistant Doug Wojcik, who coached for Doherty at Notre Dame and North Carolina.

The Mustangs suit up again in Houston against Rice, this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. You can tune in on KAAM 770 AM.

SMU Women’s Basketball Claims Victory over UTEP

January 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Mia Castillo

SMU women’s basketball (10-8, 3-2 C-USA) team defeated UTEP (11-6, 3-3 C-USA) yesterday afternoon in Moody Coliseum with a final score of 81–79.

Four Mustangs finished Sunday’s game in double figures including senior guard/ forward Haley Day, junior post Christine Elliott, junior guard Samantha Mahnesmith and sophomore guard Alisha Filmore.

The game was close until the finish. UTEP cut the Mustangs lead down to 68–67 with 5:09 left to play and went on to take a 71-70 lead with only 4:20 left on the clock.

With the game tied with only 11 seconds to go on the clock, Filmore hit a pair of clutch free-throws to give the Mustangs the victory. SMU has now improved to 3–2 in Conference USA.

Day lead the Mustangs in points with a season-high 17, going 3-for-3 from the 3-point line.

The Mustangs hit the court again this Thursday, January 27, against Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at 7 p.m.

SMU Men’s Basketball: Winter Break Recap

January 18, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Marissa Belske

While most SMU students where home with family during the winter break, the SMU men’s basketball team was back in the Big D in the middle of conference play. The Mustangs (10-7, 1-2 Conference USA) went 5-3 over the break and 1-2 in conference play.

The Mustangs gave an impressive performance at home, winning four out of six home games during the break.

SMU Tops Memphis

The Mustangs defeated the Memphis Tigers (14-5, 1-1) at home for the second consecutive year on January 12. SMU came from behind to defeat the Tigers 64-58.

Senior Papa Dia registered 22 points for the Mustangs, while Junior Robert Nyakundi and Senior Collin Mangrum each added 15 points to the final score.

The Mustangs trailed by 14 in the first half but rallied back with 17 unanswered points. Memphis was scoreless for nine minutes during the second half. The Mustangs were able to capitalize off 18 Memphis turnovers. The comeback ties SMU’s largest comeback in a Conference USA game.

Papa Dia Shines

Senior Forward Papa Dia has been hot all season for the Mustangs. Dia was named Conference USA player of the week last week or his outstanding play in the games against Memphis and Houston.

Dia averaged 22.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and four blocks in the two games. In both games he had double-doubles and shot a precise 60 percent from the floor. Against Houston Dia racked up a career-high seven blocks.

Dia has been a constant force for the Mustangs. He has eight 20 or more point Conference USA games and is now ranked 27th all-time at SMU in career points (1098). Dia has also recorded his seventh double-double this season against Houston, making it the 20th of his career.

Conference USA Play

The Mustangs fell to conference foes Houston (10-6, 2-1) and Tulane (12-5, 2-2) over the break.

The Houston Cougars edged by the Mustangs in the last minute to defeat the Mustang 70-68 on January 15. The Tulane Green Wave defeated SMU 79-70 on January 8.

The Mustangs continue conference play at UAB (12-4, 2-1) on January 19 at 7 p.m.


November 23, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Photos By Stuart Palley

Check out some photos of Saturday’s game. SMU beat Marshall 31-17 and is now eligible for a postseason bowl.

SMU Wins Last Home Game of the Season, Now Bowl Eligible

November 20, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

By Daily Mustang Staff

The Mustangs brought in a win for the final home game of the 2010 season.

SMU beat Marshall 31-17, making the team eligible for the Conference-USA bowl.

Running back Zach Line ran for 202 yards and quarterback Kyle Padron threw two touchdown passes.

For details on the game visit

Kraft Named Player of the Year

May 7, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

A successful junior season, in which he finished the year ranked No. 41 nationally, earned SMU men’s golfer Kelly Kraft the Conference USA Golfer of the Year Award Tuesday.

“It was one of my goals starting the season,” Kraft said. “During the year I didn’t think about it too much. It feels good to be rewarded for the work I put in, and it reassures me that I am getting better.”

After finishing in the top 20 in ten tournaments this season, Kraft finished ninth in the conference tournament last week, a performance he is not satisfied with.

“[It] was disappointing, I was hoping to get a win there,” Kraft said. “I put to many expectations on that tournament. I should of just went out and played golf.”

SMU earned fourth place as a team, led by the play of Kraft and James Kwon, who finished tied for 16th. The Mustangs shot 15 over par in the first round and finished two strokes out of second place.

“We finished the tournament only two shots out of second, so we were right in the hunt if you take out our first round,” Kraft said. “We are going to win that thing next year. We are due to win C-USA.”

The three-time All-Conference USA selection was the unanimous winner of Golfer of the Year honors. He also won C-USA Golfer of the Week twice this season.

Kraft started the season off with a top 3 finish at The Gopher Invitational. That preceded seven more top ten finishes. At the beginning of the season, Kraft knew he needed to have a better year than the previous season. As inspiration his coach gave him a quote that he credits with instigating his improved play: “We cannot remain what we need to be my remaining what we are.”

“This year if I was hot I would attack pins and make a lot of birdies. If I knew I was not hitting it great I would play away from tough pins and just aim for the middle of greens,” Kraft said. “This saved a lot of my rounds.”

As a freshman, Kraft won the Texas State Amateur and finished the collegiate season as the Conference USA Freshman of the year.

Kraft and his Mustang teammates await word on an NCAA Tournament berth, which will be announced Monday, May 10.

Going into the season, Kraft had two goals: to win C-USA Player of the Year and to earn an All-American honor.

“I have done one so far,” Kraft said. “Hopefully the other is to follow.”

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