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

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Mustangs fall short to Houston cougars

SMU men’s basketball lost a close one on Saturday night, narrowly losing 59-62 due to clutch free throw shooting from Houston.

Robert Nyakundi had a big game, scoring 24 points and hitting 6 threes, recording three steals, and grabbing two rebounds.

Jeremiah Samarrippas picked up six points, nine assists and two steals to go along with only two turnovers. Shawn Williams led the team in rebounding on Saturday with seven, while also scoring six.

Nyakundi’s 24 points were a big reason the Mustangs hung in the game down the stretch. Of the final 15 points the Mustang’s scored, Nyakundi had 12, all coming from behind the arc.

These threes kept SMU within striking distance, but ultimately were not enough.

As SMU, down two points with less than 15 seconds left, began fouling, Houston responded with clutch free throws to close out the game. Jonathon Simmons and Joseph Young of Houston both went to the free throw line in the final 10 seconds, and each player made both of their free throws.

The first pair of free throws from Simmons put Houston up 56-60, then Samarrippas hit a three with four seconds to go.

SMU quickly fouled Joseph Young after Samarrippas’ three, and Young made both of his foul shots.

Young, a freshman, was the leading scorer of either team with 27 points. The guard hit 4 threes, and was both clutch and efficient from the free throw line, going 7-7 on the day. Simmons had a strong game too, getting eight rebounds and scoring 12 points, although he did have six turnovers.

The Mustangs won the turnover battle, having 5 less than Houston, but lost the game because they were outrebounded and outshot. Houston combined to have 30 total rebounds, while SMU had only 21.

The Cougars also shot an impressive 54.8 percent from the field, while the Mustangs shot just 40.4 percent.

If SMU had narrowed the differential in field goal shooting just a little on Saturday, they would have come out winners.

The Mustangs are now 12-17 overall, with a 3-11 conference record. There hopes of passing Houston in the C-USA rankings before the season ends are now dashed, but SMU is still tied for the worst conference record with Tulane and East Carolina and could potentially move past these teams.

SMU’s next game will be away against a Southern Miss team that’s undefeated at home and second in conference.

A victory here would easily be the Mustang’s biggest win of the season, and would come at a very important time.

Only two games remain before the C-USA tournament, and any momentum going in could be crucial, not to mention the benefits of improvement in conference standings.

Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. Live video, stats, and audio for the game can be accessed at smumustangs.com

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