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

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.”

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

February 27, 2010 by · Comments Off 

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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 Win Big En Route To Hawaii

December 20, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Robby Gillespie

Rodney Clinkscales and Mike Walker came off the bench to lead the Mustangs in scoring as the SMU men’s basketball team routed Occidental 77-49 in their last game before heading to Hawaii to play UNLV in the Diamond Head Classic.

Clinkscales scored 15 points, connecting on his first four three pointers and 5-6 shooting from the field. Walker added 14 points.

SMU shot 45 percent from the field and held the Tigers to just 35 percent. Occidental’s Sean Anderson led the game in scoring with 16 points, on 7-10 shooting.

The Mustangs will take on (No. 23) UNLV Dec. 22 in Honolulu in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic. At the same time, the SMU football team will be in Honolulu preparing for the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24 against Nevada.