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.

Four Texas Teams Ousted in Round 1 of NCAA Tournament

March 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Nate Regan

With no SMU team to cheer for in the NCAA Championship tournament, local fans were left to root for six other Texas schools who made the field of 64 in the 2010 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament.

On Thursday, the University of North Texas was routed by Kansas State, 82-62, in Oklahoma City before the regular-season Conference USA champion University of Texas-El Paso fell to the Butler Bulldogs, 77-59, in San Jose, Calif.

The previously top-ranked Texas Longhorns were upset in overtime, 81-80, by the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in New Orleans.

Baylor University became the only Texas team to win Thursday when it defeated the Sam Houston State Bearkats, 68-59, also in New Orleans.

The No. 3-seeded Bears will face the No. 11 Old Dominion Monarchs Saturday at 4:45 p.m.

Texas A&M University beat Utah State Friday by a score of 69-53 in Spokane, Wash., to advance past the first round for the fifth year in a row.

The Aggies will play Purdue University Sunday at 4 p.m. in Spokane.

And in the last game of the first round, the C-USA Championship tournament Houston Cougars fell to the Maryland Terrapins, 89-77.

All four No. 1 seeds in the tournament – Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and Duke – won their first-round matchups to advance.

The national championship game will take place Monday, Apr. 5, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.

SMU Falls to Marshall at Moody, 73-57

March 7, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

Senior guard Derek Williams, rehabilitating a sprained ankle, was not in the original starting lineup Saturday against Marshall University.

He started, played all 40 minutes and scored nine points with three assists on Senior Night, but it was not enough as SMU (14-16, 7-9 Conference USA) fell to the Thundering Herd, 73-57, Saturday at Moody Coliseum.

Marshall (23-8, 11-5 C-USA) was led by 22 points from senior forward Tyler Wilkerson while freshman forward Hassan Whiteside added 17 points with three blocks. The pair also pulled down 10 rebounds apiece.

“Marshall was good, I’m giving them a lot of credit,” head coach Matt Doherty said. “With that, our defense was terrible.”

SMU committed 16 turnovers for 18 Thundering Herd points, and Marshall was 21-of-27 from the free throw line in the game.

Junior forward Papa Dia picked up his 10th double-double of the season for the Mustangs with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds while senior forward Mouhammad Faye added 10 points and three assists.

Though the loss dropped SMU into a seventh-place tie with the University of Houston (15-15, 7-9 C-USA) in the conference standings, the Mustangs will have the eighth seed in this week’s C-USA tournament because of a tiebreaker with the Cougars.

SMU will face the University of Central Florida Wednesday in the first round of the GMC Sierra 2010 C-USA Men’s Basketball Championship.

The Mustangs beat UCF by 22 points at Moody Coliseum in late January.

“They’re going to be fired up to play us again, and I think we’ve got to be equally fired up to play them,” Doherty said.

Tip-off against the Knights (14-16, 6-10 C-USA) is set for 8:30 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Dia Leads Mustangs to 94-83 Win at Home over Houston

February 27, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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Samuels Sets 3-Point Mark in 69-61 Win

February 25, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The women’s basketball team, playing shorthanded while senior post Alice Severin recovers from a knee injury, needed just seven players Thursday to beat the University of Central Florida at Moody Coliseum, 69-61.

SMU (18-9, 8-6 Conference USA) was led by 17 points from senior guard Jillian Samuels, who tied and broke the school record for career three-pointers during the game against the Knights (8-15, 5-9 C-USA).

With her first trifecta of the night, Samuels tied the record of 236 set by Andrea Cossey from 2000-2004, and she moved ahead with another three-pointer at the 5:29 mark in the first half.

“Everybody kept talking about it, but I was trying not to think about it,” Samuels said.

“It was a relief that she got it in the first half,” head coach Rhonda Rompola said. “It’s nice to break the record, but with something like that you want to follow it up with a victory.”

Samuels added another three-pointer in the second half (No. 238), and SMU shot 7-for-19 from behind the arc in the game while UCF was just 2-for-13.

Senior guard Brittany Gilliam and junior forward Haley Day each had 13 points for the Mustangs, and Day also grabbed 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.

Sophomore post Christine Elliot pulled down eight rebounds while freshman forward Sarah Shelton went a perfect 4-for-4 shooting and contributed eight points with six rebounds in her third career start.

Without the 6-foot-3-inch Severin in the lineup, SMU was out-rebounded 48-34 by UCF, and the Knights scored 34 points in the paint to the Mustangs’ 26.

“Rebounding was a huge concern,” Rompola said. “Even though [the Knights] are small, they’re very athletic. And they’re strong, very strong under the board.”

The Mustangs remain in a third-place tie with the University of Houston (14-13, 8-6 C-USA), and they can clinch a first-round bye in the conference championship tournament with a victory Saturday against Southern Miss.

Tip-off against the Golden Eagles (9-18, 5-9 C-USA) is set for 2 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

Mustangs Hang On for 59-54 Win at ECU

February 24, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The men’s basketball team kept its post-season hopes alive Wednesday with a 59-54 win over East Carolina University at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C.

SMU (13-14, 6-7 Conference USA) was led by 13 points and three assists from senior guard Derek Williams and seven rebounds from sophomore guard Justin Haynes.

Junior forward Papa Dia added 10 points while he and sophomore forward Robert Nyakundi each grabbed six rebounds.

The Mustangs led the Knights (9-18, 3-10 C-USA) for most of the game and connected on seven of their 18 three-pointers, including a perfect 2-for-2 from junior guard Mike Walker.

“We didn’t play great,” head coach Matt Doherty said in a post-game radio interview. “In a lot of ways it was an ugly game, but we won.”

After the score was tied at 15, SMU went on an 11-0 run and took a 26-20 lead into halftime.

ECU used an 11-for-14 performance from the free throw line to cut the lead to one point late in the second half, but a three-pointer by Nyakundi put the Mustangs up by five with just over a minute to play.

“Rob came up with big plays and he hit that big three,” Doherty said, “and we expect that from him. He’s one of the best shooters I’ve coached.”

Nyakundi, Williams and senior forward Mouhammad Faye each hit key free throws down the stretch to help seal the win for SMU.

“It’s a real tribute, I think, to this team to not play great and win on the road,” Doherty said. “We’re thrilled, we’re in the hunt.”

The Mustangs return to the Hilltop for their second-to-last home game of the regular season when they host the University of Houston (14-13, 6-7 C-USA) on Saturday.

Tip-off against the Cougars is set for 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

Mustangs Drop 76-63 Decision at Memphis

February 20, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The men’s basketball team twice came back from double-digit deficits, but could not pull off the upset Saturday night in front of 17,047 at FedEx Forum in Memphis.

SMU (12-14, 5-7 Conference USA) was led by 18 points from senior forward Mouhammad Faye, but the Tigers (20-7, 10-2 C-USA) went 15-for-30 from three-point range in a 76-63 victory.

“I was proud of our guys,” head coach Matt Doherty said in a post-game radio interview. “I thought that we really showed fight.”

The Tigers, who never trailed in the game, were led by 16 points from sophomore guard Elliot Williams and 15 apiece from guard Roburt Sallie and forward Wesley Witherspoon.

With 76 points, Memphis is just the third conference opponent this season to reach their scoring average against the Mustangs’ defense.

“I was disappointed that we let them shoot 48 percent from the field,” Doherty said. “Our field-goal-percentage defense has been pretty good, one of the best in the league, but they shot the ball extremely well.”

The Tigers made five of their first seven three-pointers to take a 31-14 lead just over 10 minutes into the game, but SMU went on an 11-0 run and trailed by just 10 at halftime.

Memphis once again went on a three-point binge to open its advantage to 24 points with 12:49 left to play, but another SMU scoring run – this time 14-0 – helped cut the lead to 66-58 in the final minutes.

“I’m proud of our effort,” Doherty said. “I think our guys located their shooters better [in the second half.]”

For the Mustangs, junior forward Papa Dia recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore forward Robert Nyakundi and senior guard Derek Williams each added 11 points.

SMU stays on the road for next Wednesday’s match-up with the East Carolina University Pirates (8-17, 2-9 C-USA).

The team returns home on Saturday, Feb. 27, to face the University of Houston Cougars (13-12, 5-6 C-USA) at 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

Mustangs Let Lead Slip Away, Lose 73-67

February 14, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The women’s basketball team could not build on Friday’s win over Rice, falling to the University of Houston Cougars Sunday afternoon at Moody Coliseum, 73-67.

The Mustangs (18-8, 6-5 Conference USA) led for much of the game but saw their field-goal shooting drop from 50 percent in the first half to 27.3 percent in the second half, which let Houston (13-11, 7-4 C-USA) outscore them 38-28 after the intermission.

“We let their pressure get to us,” head coach Rhonda Rompola said. “We were a little rattled, and we played rattled.”

Senior guard Jillian Samuels led SMU with 17 points and sophomore post Christine Elliot grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds.

Junior Haley Day and senior Brittany Gilliam each scored 15 points for the Mustangs, and Gilliam picked up her third double-double of the season with 10 rebounds, but the pair also combined for 10 turnovers.

Houston scored 18 points off of 17 SMU turnovers in the game.

“I made some bad passes into Christine [Elliot],” Day said. “We were in control most of the game, and when it started getting closer we were all on our heels. They pretty much took us out of our offense.”

The Cougars were led by 25 points from guard Brittney Scott (including five three-pointers) and 10 rebounds from forward Lesslee Mason.

Houston also used an 18-for-21 performance from the free throw line to complete its second-half comeback.

“We can’t afford to lose any more games,” Samuels said. “We shouldn’t have lost this one. We just need to pick it up, make sure we keep on pressuring teams and don’t ever let up.”

The team now prepares for an extended weekend road trip to face Tulsa (9-13, 3-8 C-USA) on Friday and Marshall (14-11, 6-6 C-USA) next Monday, Feb. 21.

SMU will return home to take on the University of Central Florida Knights (7-13, 4-7 C-USA) on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

SMU Falls 66-60 to Cougars in Houston

February 13, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

SMU was able to hold the nation’s top scorer, University of Houston guard Aubrey Coleman, well below his average of 26 points per game, but the Cougars’ Kelvin Lewis hit seven three-pointers Saturday to lead his team to a 66-60 victory.

Though the Mustangs (11-13, 4-6 Conference USA) had a better shooting percentage and more rebounds than the Cougars (13-11, 5-5 C-USA), Lewis led all scorers with 29 points and Houston hit its last 10 free throws to secure the win.

Senior guard Derek Williams led the Mustang offense with 24 points and five assists while forwards Papa Dia and Robert Nyakundi each pulled down 10 rebounds, a new career high for Nyakundi.

Sophomore guard Rodney Clinkscales contributed eight points, including a pair of three-pointers.

“I was really proud of our guys,” head coach Matt Doherty said in a post-game radio interview. “After the UTEP game [last Wednesday] I was real down, but after this game I’m upbeat because I felt like we played well.”

Senior forward Mouhammad Faye came off the bench to score 10 first-half points for SMU while junior center Myles Luttman added two points with four rebounds in just seven minutes.

The Mustangs, who trailed by five at halftime and rallied to tie the score at 58-58 with just over a minute to play, were hurt down the stretch by Houston’s near-perfect free-throw shooting (18-for-20) while turning the ball over 10 times.

“We talked about it, if we take care of the ball and rebound, we’ll win the game,” Doherty said. “Well, we rebounded, but we didn’t take care of the ball.”

The Mustangs will return home for a Wednesday matchup with Rice (8-16, 1-9 C-USA). Tipoff against the Owls is set for 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

Mustangs Lose to Houston, Drop C-USA Lead

October 25, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

SMU held the nation’s most productive offense to 394 total yards Saturday, but turned the ball over three times to lose to No. 17 Houston, 38-15.

The Mustangs (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) fumbled on two of their first four drives, leading to two Houston touchdowns and an early 14-0 Cougar lead.

SMU sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell left the game near the end of the first quarter after dislocating his shoulder while fumbling the ball on the SMU 1 yard line.

The Mustangs alternated between freshmen quarterbacks Kyle Padron and Braden Smith following Mitchell’s injury. Padron was 11 for 16 passing, 141 yards, and one touchdown.

The SMU defense held the NCAA’s best offense to 394 yards, by far their lowest total this season. No. 17 Houston (6-1, 2-1) came in averaging over 570 yards of offense per game. The nation’s highest rated quarterback, Case Keenum, threw for 233 yards and one touchdown. For the first time this season, the Cougars were led by their defense and running game.

SMU went 0-10 on third downs and 0-2 on fourth downs, as they found themselves facing many third and longs.

Running back Shawnbrey McNeal ran for 95 yards, his third highest of the year. Senior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught six passes for 47 yards and now how 628 receiving yards this season, making him the first SMU player to catch over 600 yards in four consecutive seasons.

The Mustangs hit the road again next Saturday to take on Tulsa.

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