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

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Men’s hoops faces third consecutive loss

Bamba Fall pushes past rival Central Floiridas Kenrick Zondervan in a 69-67 overtime win on Jan. 26.
Lindsey Perkins
Bamba Fall pushes past rival Central Floirida’s Kenrick Zondervan in a 69-67 overtime win on Jan. 26.

Bamba Fall pushes past rival Central Floirida’s Kenrick Zondervan in a 69-67 overtime win on Jan. 26. (Lindsey Perkins)

The SMU men’s basketball team lost in its first trip to Southern Miss in an 81-61 defeat Wednesday night. Having never traveled to Hattiesburg, Miss., in their three years in Conference USA, the Mustangs have even struggled to defeat the Golden Eagles in Dallas.

Last season, the Mustangs lost both games to the Golden Eagles in Moody Coliseum, leaving the series between the teams tied at two wins each. With tonight’s loss, SMU is 8-16 overall and 2-9 in C-USA, while Southern Miss. improved to 14-11 overall and 6-5 in the conference.

Wednesday night’s game also marked the meeting of two former Associated Press National Coaches of the Year. The Golden Eagles have now won four of their last five games, while SMU has lost 11 of its last 13, including yesterday’s.

After falling to the University of Houston on the road in a 69-74 defeat, the Mustangs have yet to capture consecutive victories since winning five games during the preseason.

Conference USA’s No. 1 shooter Bamba Fall hit 12 points on the night, along with Jon Killen with 12 points. In addition to yesterday’s numbers, Killen stills leads the league in assists, and is third in three pointers. Alex Malone finished in third for the Mustangs with 11 points.

In the first half, SMU gained a one-point lead just a second in to the game, but Southern Miss quickly came back to dominate the Mustangs, going on a brief five-point run to put them up for the remainder of the half. Killen opened the game with back-to-back threes, but a foul on Paulius Ritter put the Golden Eagles on top.

Closing out the half at 44-22 in favor of the Golden Eagles, SMU allowed a 10-point lead when Southern Miss’ leading scorer Jeremy Wise drilled a three to put his team up 30-20, followed by an eight-point run with 2:30 left. Mike Walker took his third three pointer of the night at the buzzer to close the gap, but a rebound by Golden Eagle R.L. Horton led to a fastbreak layup by Wise to close out the half.

Collecting 12 fouls in the first half, SMU struggled on defense after surrendering five rebounds on offense and 13 on defense, and gathering only one steal from Killen and three blocks by Ryan Harp and Fall. While forcing six turnovers from Southern Miss, SMU shot only eight for 23 from the field, and three for 10 in threes, with Killen hitting two, and Walker sinking the third. Wise posted 22 against the SMU defense, while Horton added 18.

The Golden Eagle offense ran the show in the second half, putting 16 points on the board, compared to SMU’s four. The Golden Eagles pulled down 11 rebounds on defense, while SMU managed eight on defense and three on offense.

The Mustangs shot only 48.3 percent from the field in the second half, and made only one of their seven three-point attempts. The only area SMU shot better than Southern Miss in was trips to the line, where SMU sunk 71.4 percent of their shots compared to 16.7 percent from the Golden Eagles.

The men will return to Moody Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 23 to host the 18-8, 8-3 University of Alabama at Birmingham at 7 p.m.

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