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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

Men’s Basketball pummels Western Illinois University

SMU+takes+on+Western+Illinois+in+Moody+Coliseum.
Hannah O’Gara
SMU takes on Western Illinois in Moody Coliseum.

The Mustangs beat the Leathernecks 90-53 in Moody Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The defensive intensity that guards Zhuric Phelps and Chuck Harris talked about in Monday night’s post-game press conference came into the limelight during Wednesday’s match-up.

Phelps and Harris shared their concerns about a lack of hustle on the team’s defensive end on Monday night, hoping for improvement as the season progressed.

“On Monday, we were kind of dependent on our offense to secure and stretch out the lead versus today and the energy was on the defensive end and everyone was feeding off that,” senior guard Emory Lanier said. “Everyone was connected and talking and that created points off turnovers and relaxed us on offense.”

SMU ran circles around WIU in the first five minutes of play. After a few sloppy turnovers from WIU, the Mustangs were able to capitalize on Leathernecks’ frustration quickly, making two fast-break plays back-to-back to get fans on their feet.

Guard Jalen Smith and forward Keon Ambrose-Hylton were the Mustangs leading scorers of the night, both earning 14 points each.

SMU had 17 steals this night as opposed to 13 on Monday against Southwestern Assemblies of God. Phelps and Harris contributed with three steals each, putting money where their mouths were, wanting to improve the team’s overall defense. With his three steals this night, and 100 career total, Phelps now finds himself in the 27th spot of all-time SMU career steals.

The Mustangs were tough on the boards with 28 second-chance points compared to WIU’s mere four second-chance points. SMU’s bench contributed largely to the win with 40 points. The Mustangs had six blocks and forced 28 points from WIU’s turnovers.

SMU didn’t allow WIU to come close to challenging their lead. WIU was unable to get ahead of the Mustangs all night and the game never saw a tied score.

“Today was more of the rule and Monday was the exception as it relates to what I’ve come to expect on a day-to-day basis from these guys,” Head Coach Rob Lanier said. “I really do believe in this group and I was happy to see once we got separation, we didn’t get cool and start playing the score.”

Next on the schedule for men’s basketball is a matchup versus Texas A&M next Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in Moody.

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About the Contributor
Hannah O'Gara, Sports Editor II
As one of two sports editors, Hannah coordinates and covers SMU varsity, club and intramural sports, telling readers what to expect and providing context for the major games and decisions, such as leaving the AAC for the ACC. Hannah also keeps readers updated on trends in sports and updates SMU varsity sports scores, rosters and standings online. She works closely with the sideline photographer and other editors to coordinate online content for audience engagement.  You can reach her at [email protected].