Men’s Basketball Falls in Regular Season Finale

March 6, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Marissa Belske

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.

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.

‘Stangs Continue Winning Streak Against ECU Pirates

February 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By: Erica Penunuri

Despite snow, wind and ice, SMU men’s basketball displayed one of their most heated games yet for a fourth consecutive win Wednesday night.

Robert Nyakundi goes for a shot against ECU at Moody Coliseum on Wednesday night. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

The game started off tight between the East Carolina Pirates (12-10, 4-4) and the SMU Mustangs (14-8, 5-3), as the scoreboard showed little to no gap.

By the end of the first half, the Pirates held the lead (25-19). Towards the beginning of the second half Mustangs struggled to execute shots. It wasn’t until the final 15 minutes that something clicked for the ‘Stangs.

“It felt like something just went right,” senior Papa Dia said.

The final 14 minutes SMU completely shut out the Pirates not letting a single field goal in. Coach Matt Doherty attributes the fans as SMU’s winning factor,

“First of all, I think the students were the MVP of tonight’s game. They came out in force and gave us the home court advantage that we needed. I thought that they really energized our defense and at the end of the game gave us a huge lift,” Doherty said.

SMU's Papa Dia fights for a rebound against an ECU defender at Moody Coliseum on Wednesday night. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

Papa Dia led the Stangs with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Robert Nyakundi scored 9 points, Jereimiah Samarripas 10 and Mike Walker 12. Walker also made game-turning three-pointers that gave the ‘Stangs momentum and lifted Moody Coliseum to its feet.

This heated victory (46-41) puts the Mustangs one game away from first place in Conference USA.

Come support the ‘Stangs here at Moody Coliseum, next Wednesday against Tulane at 7 p.m.

Check out more pictures here!

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.

Coach Doherty’s Lunch With SMU Students

January 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Briana Darensburg

Student fans gathered for lunch with the men’s basketball coach Matt Doherty at the Umphrey Lee ROFC. This is the first of several scheduled ‘Lunch with Doh’ events in an attempt to draw in more fans to the home basketball games. Students enjoyed insight about upcoming games with Coach Doherty and senior basketball player, Papa Dia.

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

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

Men’s Basketball Player McCoy to Transfer

May 5, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Nate Regan

SMU has confirmed that sophomore guard Paul McCoy is going to transfer to another school after asking to be released from his basketball scholarship.

In two seasons with the Mustangs, McCoy racked up 544 points, 137 assists and 73 steals.

As a freshman, McCoy led the team with 13.4 points per game while averaging 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game, and was named Co-MVP along with guard Derek Williams.

McCoy missed the final 10 games of his sophomore season with a torn ACL.

“We appreciate all that he accomplished here and wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors,” SMU Head Coach Matt Doherty said in a statement.

Schools wishing to speak to McCoy must be granted permission from SMU first.

Men’s Basketball Signs Highly Touted Player

April 29, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

SMU men’s basketball coach Matt Doherty announced the signing of Jeremiah Samarrippas, a senior at Bartow High School in Florida. Samarrippas will join the team next season.

The incoming freshman is a 5-10 guard who was named the 5A-Florida High School Athletic Association Player of the Year and finished third in Florida’s Mr. Basketball voting.

“Jeremiah is a consummate point guard and he is a winner,” Doherty said. “I am positive that he will make a great impact on SMU Basketball.”

As a senior, he led his team to a 25-5 record and the 5A State Championship while averaging 12.3 points, 7.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game.

In his junior season he led his team to a 23-7 record and the 4A state semifinal as he earned third-team All-State honors. Samarrippas started all four years at the varsity level and helped Bartow High School to an 84-31 record during his career.

Mustangs Fall to UCF in Opening Round of Conference USA Tournament

March 10, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The men’s basketball team saw its season end with a 69-53 first-round loss to the University of Central Florida Wednesday in the Conference USA Championship tournament at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

SMU (14-17, 7-10 C-USA) took an early lead behind three-pointers from sophomore guard Rodney Clinkscales, but the Knights (15-16, 7-10 C-USA) used a 17-4 run to pass the Mustangs and led 32-30 at halftime.

In the second half, SMU committed 11 turnovers and was outrebounded by UCF in the game, 27-19.

“We just weren’t on,” head coach Matt Doherty said in a post-game radio interview. “Some of that credit goes to [the Knights], but we just were not sharp.”

Three players scored in double figures for UCF, led by 15 points from guard Taylor Young. Guard Isaac Sosa scored 14, including four three-pointers, while forward A.J. Tyler scored 12 points with five rebounds.

Senior guard Derek Williams paced the Mustangs with 15 points and five assists, and in his last career game he became just the 17th SMU player to score 500 points in one season.

“That’s pretty impressive for a guy who didn’t play high school basketball,” Doherty said. “He’s really grown as a player and a person.”

Clinkscales, senior forward Mouhammad Faye and sophomore guard Justin Haynes each scored nine points for the Mustangs, who did not attempt a free throw in the first half and went 0-for-4 on three-pointers in the second half.

Junior forward Papa Dia fouled out with 4:17 to play in the game, finishing with seven points, five rebounds and four turnovers.

Despite the loss, SMU still finished with its most conference wins since joining C-USA in 2005, helped in part by a four-game winning streak in late January.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Doherty said. “They’ve accomplished a lot this year.”

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.

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