The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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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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SMU beats Pittsburgh in 2K Classic with strong second half

Photo+credit%3A+Mollie+Mayfield
Photo credit: Mollie Mayfield
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Photo credit: Mollie Mayfield

NEW YORK CITY – Playing in the world’s most famous arena with a chance to gain some national respect post-Larry Brown, SMU prevailed over Pittsburgh in the 2K Classic.

The teams met after each played Gardner-Webb and Eastern Michigan to start their seasons, both looking for an early-season win against a high-major team. SMU won 76-67 in a game of runs, despite its struggles guarding Pittsburgh forward Michael Young, who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.

Semi Ojeleye scored 24 points and SMU shot 57 percent in the second half. The Mustangs moved to 3-0 and will play the winner of Michigan-Marquette on Friday night.

Ojeleye scored 14 points in the first eight minutes of the second half. When Pittsburgh showed its 3-2 zone after he made a 3-pointer on SMU’s second possession of the half, SMU answered with an alley-oop to Ojeleye created by screening both bottom defenders. The Mustangs trailed for only 1:41 of the second half.

The Panthers led 33-31 at halftime and held SMU scoreless in the final 6:04 of the first half after they changed from a switch-everything man defender to a 3-2 zone. SMU seemed unprepared for it, despite scoring 91 points on Eastern Michigan’s zone five days earlier. Before the switch, SMU went on a 16-0 run that ended with back-to-back 3s and a 31-20 lead.

SMU had chances to snap the run. Harry Froling missed an easy layup with 2:10 left and Ben Emelogu couldn’t tip in Ojeleye’s 3-point miss with 17 seconds left.

Whenever Pittsburgh threatened SMU’s lead in the second half, SMU had an answer. When Young’s layup with 10:32 left brought Pitt within five, Sterling Brown responded with a layup of his own. A pair of Young free throws with 4:52 left shrunk SMU’s lead to 63-59, but Ben Moore scored four straight points right after.

SMU grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, with Jarrey Foster getting four of them. Shake Milton had 14 points Ben Moore scored 12.

Young and Jamel Artis combined for 42 points. No one else on Pittsburgh’s roster scored in double figures.

Dashawn McDowell played a season-high 11 minutes for SMU, scoring five points and making his first career 3-pointer. Froling, who made only one of his four 2-point attempts in SMU’s first two games, scored in the post on back-to-back possessions in the first half. SMU’s third freshman, Tom Wilson, didn’t play in the game.

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