Threes fall for SMU
Mustangs Handle Texas College on Moody Coliseum's 50th Anniversary
CUSA-fans.com has a new staff of team correspondents this year to help bring you, the fan, more detailed Conference USA sports coverage. Today, our SMU Correspondent Rick Atkinson brings you his weekly SMU basketball update.
DALLAS – SMU ran its record to 6-1 Sunday with a 79-63 win over scrappy NAIA Texas College, a team playing its third game in three days.
After leading by nine at the break, the Mustangs pulled away with sizzling three-point shooting (6-9, 66%) in the second half to build a 75-49 lead before calling off the dogs.
Texas College scored the game’s final 8 points.
“Coach Doherty gave us a little pep talk at halftime,” said forward Devon Pearson. “Fired us back up.”
“We’re not real sharp yet,” Doherty said, noting SMU’s 14 turnovers. “You know? Maybe that’s a good thing. Because I think we’ll get there. We have good guys. They want to do the right thing.”
Pearson led SMU with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Donatas Rackauskas had 11 rebounds and added back-to-back threes in the second half. Ike Ofuegbu and Derrick Roberts pumped in 16 and 10 points, respectively.
Bamba Fall had a dominating performance off the bench, hitting 7 of 7 from the field and finishing with 17 points. Fall also had 3 blocks, 2 assists, 3 offensive rebounds and no turnovers.
“Bamba had an awesome game overall,” Doherty said. “He’s becoming a good all around basketball player.”
“I think the most dramatic improvement I’ve seen is in his foul shooting,” Doherty said. “It’s like a kid [who] gets a new toy at Christmas. He wants to play with it all the time. He loves to shoot foul shots.”
“And he’s mad when he misses.”
At one point, Fall delivered a monster dunk then glared at the beaten defender.
“I get emotional sometimes,” Fall said with a grin.
“He’s getting more fierce,” added Pearson, grinning also.
Doherty on guard Jon Killen’s development as a floor leader:
“He’s a smart player, he knows where everyone should be,” he said. “And a little thing that is big is his communication.”
“His biggest problem is he’s left-brained,” Doherty added. “He’s too analytical. He needs to let loose a little bit and let things happen and develop. He needs to lose himself in the game a little bit more.”
Killen finished with 3 steals, 4 assists, 4 points and 4 turnovers.
In all, SMU committed 14 turnovers and had 16 assists.
The Mustangs shot 50% from the field and hit 13 of 22 free throws.
Next game: Wednesday, Dec. 13 @ home vs. Prairie View A&M,
Two after that: Saturday, Dec. 16 @ Centenary, , Thursday, Dec. 21 @ TCU,
Did you know?
- Four C-USA teams have appeared in a Final Four: SMU, Houston (5X), Memphis (2X), and UTEP (Texas Western). Doherty said these teams may wear throwback Final Four uniforms when they play each other.
- Doherty will be initiated into the PKE campus fraternity Monday, Dec. 4.
- “As long as I don’t have to do rush, and get paddled - ‘Thank you, sir. May I have another?’” Doherty said after Sunday’s game.
“It’s cool,” he said. “You want to emotionally attach yourself to the student body and the fan base. What better way than to do that?”
“So, I’ll be a Greek - an Irish Greek.”
- Ground breaking has begun for the new 43,000-square-foot basketball practice facility going in adjacent to Moody Coliseum’s east side.
- Doherty said his father is back in the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.