Williams Named Team MVP at Men’s Basketball Banquet

April 19, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan
nregan@smu.edu

Graduating seniors Mouhammad Faye and Derek Williams were each honored and Williams named team MVP at the annual men’s basketball awards banquet Thursday, Apr. 15, at the Doubletree Campbell Center in Dallas.

Williams, who was named Co-MVP with Paul McCoy last year, led the Mustangs with 16.6 points per game this season, good for fourth among all Conference USA players.

He also paced the team with an average of 3.7 assists in 36.4 minutes per game.

Junior forward Papa Dia received seven team honors, including the Screener, Charges, Rebounder, Blocks / Deflections, Defensive and Most Improved awards.

Dia and Williams were also recognized for their selection to the 2010 All-Conference USA Third Team.

Faye was given the Good Plays award, McCoy was honored with the Hustle award and sophomore forward Robert Nyakundi earned the Coaches Award.

In addition, junior center Tomasz Kwiatkowski and freshman guard Austin Horn were each recognized with the team Academic Award.

SMU’s two all-conference players were the most since the 2001-02 season, and the team finished with its best conference record (7-9) since joining C-USA in 2005.

The Mustangs held C-USA opponents to just 61.0 points per game, their best scoring defense in league play since allowing an average of 60.9 points per game in the Southwest Conference in 1958-59.

Mustangs Fall to UCF in Opening Round of Conference USA Tournament

March 10, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan
nregan@smu.edu

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
nregan@smu.edu

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.

Mustangs Fall Short in Tulsa, 58-55

March 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan
nregan@smu.edu

The men’s basketball team remains in a three-way tie for the final seed in next week’s Conference USA tournament after a 58-55 loss Wednesday to the University of Tulsa.

Senior guard Derek Williams led SMU (14-15, 7-8 C-USA) with 15 points and four assists.

Forwards Mouhammad Faye and Robert Nyakundi each contributed 13 points against the Golden Hurricane (21-9, 10-5 C-USA), but the rest of the team combined to score just 14 total points.

“I was proud of our guys,” head coach Matt Doherty said in a post-game radio interview. “I’m proud of our effort and that we didn’t hang our head in spite of a lot of adversity.”

Though the Mustangs had more rebounds (35 to 30) and more steals (10 to 1) than Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane shot 22-for-44 on the game while SMU went just 20-for-54.

Senior guard Ben Uzoh led Tulsa with 20 points, and center Jerome Jordan added 12 points with a game-high 13 rebounds.

“I think our transition defense wasn’t up to par,” Doherty said. “We let Uzoh get too much in transition, and as a result they shot 50 percent.”

The Mustangs will play their final regular-season game of the year on Saturday when they host Marshall University.

Mouhammad Faye and Derek Williams will each be recognized prior to the game as part of SMU Senior Night activities.

“I’ll be shocked if we don’t bounce back with a great effort Saturday against Marshall,” Doherty said. “And we need people to come out … We need that home-court advantage.”

Tip-off against the Thundering Herd (22-8, 10-5 C-USA) is set for 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

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

February 27, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Read more

Mustangs Hang On for 59-54 Win at ECU

February 24, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan
nregan@smu.edu

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
nregan@smu.edu

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.

SMU Defeats Rice at Moody, 67-57

February 17, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Read more

SMU Falls 66-60 to Cougars in Houston

February 13, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan
nregan@smu.edu

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.

SMU Falls at Home to First-Place UTEP

February 10, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan
nregan@smu.edu

With a chance to upset the conference-leading University of Texas-El Paso, SMU took a slim lead into halftime but could not catch up with the Miners’ offensive attack after the intermission, resulting in a 62-51 loss Wednesday at Moody Coliseum.

The Mustangs (11-12, 4-5 Conference USA) were led early by senior forward Mouhammad Faye, who scored 11 points and pulled down five rebounds in the first half.

SMU also took advantage of an 8-for-27 shooting performance by UTEP (18-5, 9-1 C-USA) in the first half and went to the locker rooms with a 24-22 halftime lead.

“We had them right where we wanted them,” head coach Matt Doherty said. “I thought our defense broke down significantly in the second half.”

After grabbing more first-half rebounds than UTEP (20-to-13), the Mustangs tailed off in the second half, allowing the Miners a 25-to-10 advantage on the boards.

In addition, UTEP bounced back from a poor first half to shoot 14-for-23 on field goals the rest of the way.

For the Miners, forward Derrick Caracter and guard Randy Culpepper each contributed 12 second-half points and combined to go 8-for-11 from the field.

“We were timid,” Doherty said. “Our guys looked like they were afraid when UTEP stepped it up a notch in the second half.”

Faye led the Mustangs with 19 points and nine rebounds, but he was one of few offensive bright spots for SMU.

Though junior forward Papa Dia scored 11 points (and became the 31st player in school history to collect 500 career rebounds), he and senior guard Derek Williams combined to shoot 6-for-22 on the game.

“I was real disappointed in the lack of leadership from Derek and Papa,” Doherty said. “They’ve had great seasons thus far, but they showed no toughness throughout the game, especially in the second half.”

“If you want to be a big-time player, you’ve got to produce in big-time situations, and they didn’t tonight.”

Williams, whose eight points broke his string of double-digit scoring games at 15, said he takes responsibility for the loss.

“The team needed me to step up,” he said. “We were prepared for it, we just didn’t come out and play hard.”

The Mustangs will now prepare for a quick weekend road trip to the University of Houston (12-11, 4-5 C-USA), where they will match up against the Cougars at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The team returns home next Wednesday, Feb. 17, to face the Rice Owls (8-15, 1-8 C-USA). Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

Next Page »