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.