SMU Basketball Update: Jacked Up
SMU Blown Out By Coogs, 99-71, For Fourth Straight Loss
DALLAS – It’s difficult to stay with a team that’s dropping 3s like pitching nickels into a bathtub. It looked that easy for Houston Wednesday night at Moody Coliseum - and the young Mustangs had no answer.
The Coogs (12-3, 1-0 C- USA) ripped off four straight treys to start the game, finishing 18 of 38 from beyond the arc – both record marks for an SMU opponent.
“[Houston] would have beaten a lot of teams tonight,” said SMU head coach Matt Doherty.
A boisterous home crowd, juiced with recently returned students, provided a supportive atmosphere for the Mustangs. New head football coach June Jones, sitting courtside, was welcomed with an extended standing ovation in the first half.
The loss was the Mustangs’ fourth in a row. SMU (6-9, 0-2) lost its conference opener at UTEP January 9 after falling to Colorado in Boulder and Stephen F. Austin at home.
Dion Dowell (3-6), Robert McKiver (6-12) and Kelvin Lewis (4-6) did most of the long-range damage for Houston Wednesday, as the Coogs ended a two-game losing streak.
“They were stinging,” said Houston head coach Tom Penders of his players. “They were hurting.” Houston lost to No. 24 Arizona at home last Saturday and to UMass January 2.
“This is the deepest, most talented team I’ve had,” Penders said.
The trapping Coogs rolled up 31 points off 20 SMU turnovers. Houston gave it up just eight times.
SMU did briefly cut Houston’s lead to ten, 41-31, near the end of the first half on a Papa Dia lay-up. But the Coogs, up by 14 at the break, never allowed the Mustangs any closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Penders called off the cats on Houston’s final possession, letting time expire without taking a shot for the century mark.
With senior guard Derrick Roberts out with a groin injury, SMU’s Jon Killen logged a full 40 minutes on the court. Mike Walker played 38 minutes, his highest total to date.
Killen notched a career-high 12 assists. “I thought he played a hell of a game,” Doherty said. Penders also praised Killen’s “development” over the last three seasons.
Dia pumped in a career-high 21 points for the Mustangs and Alex Malone added 15 points and seven boards.
Other double-digit scorers for SMU were Bamba Fall (13) and Ryan Harp (12). Fall also had 10 rebounds, for his third career double-double. He also blocked four shots.
The Mustangs had four freshmen on the court at times in the second half.
Penders commended Doherty’s team, adding the Mustangs’ future looks bright. “They didn’t quit,” he said. “They played hard.”
“It’s just a matter of time before [Doherty] gets all his players.”
Looking ahead to the rematch in Houston next month, Penders said of SMU, “They’re capable of giving us trouble.”
Next Two for SMU:
Ronnie Perry (SMU ’69) has followed SMU basketball since 1957. Perry contributed to this report.
SMU Basketball Notes: