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 professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Kennedy plays big in Mustangs’ win over Clemson

SMU used a huge second half surge to comeback and beat Clemson in the NIT semifinals, 65-59, at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.

The Mustangs were led by big man Markus Kennedy who finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and three steals on eight for 13 shooting in the game. When he wasn’t in foul trouble, Kennedy was very effective against a tough and physical Clemson team in the paint.

For the game, Kennedy was also five for six at the free throw line and did a great job protecting the rim on defense. There was a lot of talk about Clemson big men K.J. McDaniels and Landry Nnoko heading into the game, but it was SMU’s sophomore big man who ended up stealing the headlines in New York.

“I’m really proud of my team,” Head Coach Larry Brown said after the game. “I thought the second half was the best we have played all year. This environment and this building make it the most special moment we have had at SMU.”

Kennedy got two quick fouls in the first half that forced him to sit the last couple minutes of the period and the Mustangs really struggled with him off the floor. The Mustangs were down 12 at halftime, but SMU has rarely been out-rebounded this season and Kennedy made sure to keep that streak alive.

SMU finished with 34 total rebounds, including 12 offensive ones and out-rebounded the Tigers by 8. After starting slow, SMU outscored the Tigers 39-21 in the second half and shot 59 percent from the floor in the period to get the big victory and advance.

“This was for our seniors, Nick Russell and Shawn Williams, because we owe it all to them,” Kennedy said after. “Sterling Brown was huge with his energy and rebounding. The way I play is owed to my teammates. They did a great job feeding off of me and knocking down shots to keep the defense honest. I didn’t do it by myself. It was a team effort today.”

With that, the Mustangs, who are now 27-9, will take on No. 1 seed Minnesota (23-13) of the Big Ten Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in the NIT Championship game on ESPN2.

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