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


Milton, Ojeleye lead the way as Mustangs plunder East Carolina, 86-46

Milton, Ojeleye lead the way as Mustangs plunder East Carolina, 86-46

Down 7-5 with 14:19 remaining in the first half, SMU forward Semi Ojeleye found a wide open Sterling Brown in the right corner. Brown hit the three to give the Mustangs the lead. On the next possession, Shake Milton found Ojeleye alone in the same spot, leading to another bucket from deep. Why not try it a third time? Milton’s three on the ensuing trip down the floor made it a 14-7 game with SMU doubling East Carolina’s point total in just over a minute.

The Pirates would not get any closer to the lead from that point on. The Mustangs, coming off a week of rest, sunk East Carolina’s ship with a barrage of cannon fire from everywhere on the floor. SMU shot 55 percent from the floor in the first half, making the game over before it even had a chance to get started.

Four Mustangs scored in double figures as SMU rocked the Pirates in its 86-46 win on Wednesday night.

“‘What do you do with your week?'” SMU head coach Tim Jankovich said in the postgame press conference. “We chose to rest a lot and try to get them as fresh as we could. Not just for this game, but really thinking two, three, four weeks from now. Maybe it will benefit them.”

The extra rest certainly seemed to be the right move on Wednesday night. The Mustangs were flying all over the floor, overwhelming East Carolina on both ends. SMU outscored the Pirates 15-6 on the fast break and 25-4 off of turnovers.

“They just happened to turn the ball over,” guard Ben Emelogu said postgame. “It’s good when things work out in your favor.”

More Mustangs got in on the action with seven players playing 13+ minutes. Jarrey Foster also returned for SMU after sitting out last week’s game at Central Florida with an undisclosed injury.

“We had a chance to get a lot of recovery,” freshman guard Dashawn McDowell said postgame. “We felt fully prepared for this game. We felt good.”

“This time of year, almost everybody in college basketball is tired, sore, banged up,” Jankovich said. “If you do have the opportunity to heal and get some energy and enthusiasm back then I think it’s great. We took that chance. Judging from tonight it really paid off.”

SMU has now swept the season series against East Carolina, winning by a margin of 30+ points in both games. What did McDowell attribute Wednesday’s 40 point win to?

“They didn’t play as hard,” McDowell said of East Carolina.

Coach Jankovich had a slightly different take.

“When we played them last time, we were right in the middle of changing the way we play,” Jankovich said. “I think we were a little bit easier to guard at that time.”

The reasons behind SMU’s dominance of the Pirates may be up for interpretation, but a 40 point win is pretty straight forward.

Shake Milton and Semi Ojeleye added 19 points apiece for the Mustangs with Milton adding five assists. Senior guard Sterling Brown did a little bit of everything, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Senior forward Ben Moore recorded SMU’s only double-double of the night, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. It was Moore’s 6th double-double of the season.

Dashawn McDowell led the Mustangs in scoring off the bench, finishing with 5 points. McDowell said he is beginning to feel more comfortable playing aggressive.

“Being in the weight room, I feel like I’ve gained a lot of weight,” McDowell said. “I can play with these guys.”

“I know there’s going to be situations presented that we’re going to really need him [McDowell] to play,” Jankovich said. “I thought he played very well tonight.”

Jankovich’s well-rested SMU squad now enters one of its toughest stretches of the season, traveling to Tulsa and Temple before hosting Cincinnati – all in just 11 days. Jankovich said the next week and a half could make or break a potential run for the regular season conference title.

“If you sweep those, it’s saying that you maybe have a chance to go down to the wire,” Jankovich said. “A lot of basketball left.”

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