The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU falls short in first two games

CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus
Senior captain Derek Williams goes for a layup against the South Florida Bulls.

Senior captain Derek Williams goes for a layup against the South Florida Bulls. (CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus)

In front of a huge Aggie fan base, the SMU men’s basketball team fell to the Texas A&M Aggies, 68-80, putting them at 0-2 after the opening week of their season.

“I’m proud of the effort,” head coach Matt Doherty said. “This year they realize the problem and they fix it. The next stage is playing with your mind, not just the talent. I think we’ve gotten so much smarter.”

The Mustangs started out with a 6-0 run in the beginning before the Aggies (2-0) pulled ahead 15-12 when A&M caught a rebound off a missed three-pointer by SMU senior Derek Williams.

SMU managed to cling to the lead until the Mustangs gave up a rebound on defense, putting the Aggies up 15-13. Texas A&M increased their lead to 20-15, but SMU quickly caught back up, tying the score at 21-21 with a layup by senior Mouhammad Faye.

The Mustangs closed the half down 36-26, letting the Aggies close the first half with a 13-point run. Despite SMU outshooting the Aggies in field goals (50 percent for SMU, 45.2 for A&M), the Aggies hit six of their 15 three-pointers, while SMU nailed just one of their five.

SMU bench performance also contributed to a shaky end to the first half, adding zero points to the team’s overall score, while A&M collected 13 points of their bench. SMU junior Myles Luttman and sophomore Justin Haynes drew fouls in the first half.

The second half told a different story for the Mustangs as SMU came within four points of the Aggies after SMU junior Papa Dia hit a basket to close the scoring gap to 50-46. Dia walked off the court with high-gives from his teammates and the roar of the crowd from the 6,729 in attendance. Dallas Cowboy’s tight end Martellus Bennett even made an appearance to watch his alma mater upset the Mustangs.

The second half ended just as the first did with the Aggies taking another commanding lead, as SMU sent A&M to the line numerous times in the final 10 minutes. SMU saw five players draw at least three fouls, with Dia eventually leaving the game with four minutes left after his fifth.

Sophomore Paul McCoy would follow, fouling out with 45 seconds remaining.

SMU fell to 90-86 all-time against the Aggies, the first game between the teams dating back to 1918 when the teams played each other in the Southwest Conference.

In their season opener on Nov.13 against the University of South Florida (1-0), the SMU men’s basketball team surrendered a close loss to the Bulls, dropping a 67-61 in the second half.

“Our guys are hurting. Before the game, they thought they could win. During the game, they believed they could win, and now they’re disappointed they didn’t win, and that’s a good sign,” Doherty said after Friday’s loss. “We’re much improved from last year, and now we just have to get better.”

Williams, one of the team’s three captains, led the Mustangs in scoring, putting 19 points on the board, shooting eight for 13 from the field. Faye, another captain, finished the night with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks. McCoy had a game-high three steals on the night.

Coming within just four points of the Bulls with less than one minute remaining, the Mustangs looked to be starting down a different path than last season, but dropped a last-minute loss for their third consecutive season-opening loss. The Bulls clinched the win in the final seconds, hitting five of their six free throws to put them up by six points at the end.

SMU led at the half, 32-29, sparked by a basket by Williams with 3:54 remaining to put the Mustangs up 26-25. The lead continued to change throughout the second half, with SMU gaining control again at 41-36 after Faye hit a layup with 16 minutes remaining.

USF center Augustus Gilchrist led his team with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds. The Bulls also saw double-digit scores from guards Chris Howard with 14 points and seven assists and Dominique Jones with 13 points, six assists and six boards.

“I told them if we were 2-0 it’d be awesome and if we were 1-1 it would be good,” Doherty said. “We’re 0-2 but we showed that can play with a team from the Big East and Big 12. We have two games coming up against teams our players know nothing about so we have to make sure we play to the level of the Big 12 and Big East and not say we’re better than these teams and relax.”

The Mustangs will continue pre-conference play this weekend as they host Florida Gulf Coast University (0-1) on Saturday followed by Huston-Tillotson University (0-1) on Monday. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.

More to Discover