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.

Men’s Tennis Falls in C-USA Semifinals

April 25, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The men’s tennis team was ousted from the 2010 Conference USA Championship tournament Saturday with a 4-1 loss to Tulsa University at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium in Houston.

Juniors Darren Walsh and Adham el-Effendi, ranked as the No. 45 doubles team in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, fought for an 8-5 over the Golden Hurricane’s No. 27 duo of Philip Stephens and Ashley Watling at the top spot.

Tulsa came back with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles, however, to take a 1-0 lead.

Watling beat SMU junior David Costa at No. 2 singles (6-0, 6-2) before the Mustangs’ No. 63-ranked Artem Baradach upset the Golden Hurricane’s No. 35 Marcelo Arevalo (6-4, 6-2) at the top spot.

But freshmen Tobias Flood and Pablo Perez-Esnaola fell to their Tulsa opponents at Nos. 3 and 5, respectively, as the Golden Hurricane sealed the 4-1 win and earn a trip to the championship game.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” head coach Carl Neufeld said on “We won at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles and most of the time you’re able to win the match doing that.”

Gilliam, Samuels Lead SMU to 71-52 Win Over Tulsa on Senior Night

March 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The women’s basketball team, having secured a first-round bye in next week’s Conference USA Championship Tournament, won its 20th game of the season Wednesday with a 71-52 victory over Tulsa at Moody Coliseum.

Senior guard Brittany Gilliam led the way for SMU (20-9, 10-6 C-USA) with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, good for her fifth double-double of the year.

Junior forward Haley Day also picked up her third double-double this season with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Golden Hurricane (12-15, 6-10 C-USA) shot just 24.7 percent on field goals in the game, including 0-for-12 on three-point attempts in the second half.

Freshman guard Alisha Filmore scored a career-high 12 points and senior guard Jillian Samuels finished with 11 points and two assists in 31 minutes.

“You rely on them,” head coach Rhonda Rompola said of her two active seniors. “They have to take over, and they did.”

Senior post Alice Severin is coming back from an injury and did not play against Tulsa, though she is expected to return for the C-USA tournament.

With Severin and sophomore post Christine Elliot unable to play, Rompola turned to sophomore Heidi Brandenburg and freshman Sarah Shelton to create an inside presence.

In her first career start, Brandenburg scored nine points with five rebounds while Shelton came off the bench for eight points and eight defensive rebounds.

“They didn’t play like two players who hadn’t played much,” Rompola said. “I saw Sarah mature as a player today. She actually rebounded with an attitude today, and that was something different.”

Gilliam, Samuels and Severin were each honored before Wednesday’s game as part of SMU Senior Night activities.

Together, the seniors have compiled 82 wins during their time on the Hilltop, tying them with the class of 2000 for the most victories over a four-year span. That was also the only other class at SMU to reach 20 wins three years in a row.

“I think that just shows what we’ve done to help this program out,” Gilliam said. “We’re just winners, you know … We don’t like to lose.”

Depending on the outcomes of two conference games Thursday, the Mustangs will enter the 2010 GMC Sierra C-USA Championship in Tulsa as the second, third or fourth seed, though their first-round bye is guaranteed.

Matchups and game times will be announced on Friday.

Mustangs Fall Short in Tulsa, 58-55

March 3, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

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 

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SMU Downs Southern Miss at Moody, 81-66

February 27, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

The women’s basketball team earned a first-round bye in the 2010 GMC Sierra Conference USA Championship Tournament with an 81-66 victory Sunday over the University of Southern Mississippi at Moody Coliseum.

SMU (19-9, 9-6 C-USA) was led by 22 points from junior forward Haley Day and 11 rebounds from senior guard Brittany Gilliam, who also scored 19 points against the Golden Eagles (9-19, 5-10 C-USA) for her fourth double-double of the season.

The Mustangs received 15 points from senior guard Jillian Samuels, 10 from sophomore guard Samantha Mahnesmith and a career-high 11 points and six rebounds from sophomore post Heidi Brandenburg.

“We just played better team basketball,” head coach Rhonda Rompola said. “We made the extra pass a couple times, we got a couple of three [pointers] off the extra pass, and I thought it was just a good team victory.”

SMU played with a short roster as posts Christine Elliot and Alice Severin recover from injuries, and at 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-2, respectively, their presence near the basket was missed.

The Mustangs had a better shooting rate (25-for-55) than Southern Miss (22-for-68), but the Golden Eagles pulled down more rebounds and scored more points in the paint.

“We knew we had to pick it up because Chris [Elliot] puts up a lot of numbers,” Day said. “And so we knew with her hurt, everybody had to step up.”

Despite the limited roster, SMU led 42-32 at halftime and never trailed in the game.

“We’re a good team at home, and I don’t want our girls to ever forget that,” Rompola said. “It may not always be pretty, but we find ways to win at home, and that’s what good teams have to do.”

The Mustangs will try for their third consecutive 20-win season when they host Tulsa University in this year’s final regular-season game on Wednesday, and Rompola hopes for a better outcome against the Golden Hurricane than the 57-54 road loss on Feb. 18.

“Our start was really poor against Tulsa,” she said. “We just didn’t play well there, we didn’t hit our shots.”

Tip-off against the Golden Hurricane (12-13, 6-8 C-USA) is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Moody Coliseum.

SMU Falls on Road to Tulsa, 57-54

February 18, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Nate Regan

Despite having four players score 10 or more points, the SMU women’s basketball team fell short in its comeback attempt against Tulsa on Thursday, falling 57-54.

Junior forward Haley Day led the Mustangs (16-9, 5-6 Conference USA) with 14 points while senior guard Brittany Gilliam just missed a double-double with a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds, but the Golden Hurricane (10-13, 4-8 C-USA) took a 27-21 halftime lead and never gave it up.

Tulsa stretched its advantage to 38-25 before Day pulled SMU to within one point on a fast break layup at 1:58, but the Golden Hurricane’s Larissa Williams hit two straight free throws to seal the win.

The Mustangs also received 12 points from sophomore guard Samantha Mahnesmith and 10 points from sophomore post Christine Elliot, who fouled out of the game with 12:29 left to play.

SMU will play its final regular-season road game on Sunday against the Marshall Thundering Herd (14-11, 6-6 C-USA) in Huntington, W.V.

The team returns home for a match-up with the University of Central Florida (7-14, 4-8 C-USA) on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Tip-off against the Knights is set for 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.