The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

SMU Daily Campus

SMU Daily Campus

SMU Daily Campus

SMU lost to TCU in Saturdays Iron Skillet game 34-17. Next years matchup is the last scheduled game in the longstanding rivalry.
SMU falls short at TCU
September 26, 2023

Empire ‘Stang of Mind: SMU advances to NIT championship

SMU’s Nic Moore (11) shoots over Clemson’s Landry Nnoko (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the NIT Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NIT Clemson SMU Basketball
SMU Forward Markus Kennedy (5) goes for a shot against Clemson. (Courtesy of AP)

NEW YORK – SMU will live to play one more game after the team rallied from down 12 at the half to beat the Clemson Tigers 65-59 in Madison Square Garden in New York City Tuesday night.

“They executed great and we didn’t have much to say at halftime except that we had to match their energy, possibly play harder than them,” Brown said. “I thought best half we played all year; to hold them to 21 after the way they dominated us in the first half was really exciting.”

In a game that could have been Nick Russell’s and Shawn Williams’ last game, SMU recovered from a big deficit with huge play from Markus Kennedy and Sterling Brown setting the tone early in the second half.

Brown got the team off to a hot start with his play, helping him finish with eight points, five rebounds and four assists. Kennedy gave all the credit to Brown, who was just another SMU starter to step up in key moments in this NIT run.

“Sterling picked everybody up and he took it to his own,” Kennedy said. “When a player does that, when one of us does that, we have no choice but to follow their lead.”

It was Russell that helped SMU tie the game with just over 10 minutes left and to go up by three with 15 seconds left, making two key free throws. Russell struggled most of the night, but was skilled when SMU needed the senior to be.

The Mustangs had some trouble dealing with adversity this season, but they battled back in each of their games in the NIT and Kennedy said the team wasn’t worried at the half.

“Before Coach Brown came into the locker room to talk to us, we already had it figured out. We knew what we did wrong out there,” Kennedy said.

Coach Brown had one tough year as coach of the NBA’s New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden, but tonight he was happy to have his players be a part of the special atmosphere that the SMU faithful made the Garden become.

“To have my kids come in here and play in this environment with SMU people here was unbelievable. You can’t believe how it was at SMU,” Brown said. “Now, we’re a major program playing for a major championship, and that’s neat.”

For Brown, the message has been clear, play the right way all season, but now it’s finish the right way and that’s all he’s happy about.

“As a coach, the way they responded and played the second half, you know, I always talk about playing the right way; we played the right way, and I was thrilled to be part of that,” Brown said.

SMU will face Minnesota, who defeated Florida State, in the NIT Championship game Thursday night at 6 p.m. C.T.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All SMU Daily Campus Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *