Mustangs lose narrowly to Wichita State, drop 2-5 in conference
UNIVERSITY PARK — Three free throws made all the difference between SMU and Wichita State during the American Athletic Conference game on Sunday.
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In a competitive game that featured lots of runs from both teams, SMU started slow but went on an impressive 10-2 run from 12:59 to 9:49 of the 1st half to get up 13-11 on the Shockers.
The Mustangs then carried on the momentum and went into the break with a 4-point lead (29-25).
Wichita State played their way back into the game in the second half, urged by a 15-0 run, and put SMU down 65-52.
But SMU made a 15-0 run to make a comeback and took a 67-65 lead with 1:40 left on the game clock.
With both teams tied, Wichita State’s Craig Porter Jr. made three decisive free throws to give Wichita State the lead with 35 seconds left.
Wichita State was then able to hold on to the 71-69 lead at the final buzzer.
“You have to give props to the kid,” SMU head coach Rob Lanier said. “It was a big play and that proved to be the difference in the game.”
This loss is SMU’s fifth loss in seven games since the start of the new year.
“You never want it to come down to that one play,” Lanier said. “Disappointing outcome overall, but I’m proud of those kids.”
SMU shooting guard Zach Nutall believes it is important the team stays together during this losing streak.
“I feel like we always show fight,” Nutall said. “We still have to keep growing, we still have to keep learning as a team.”
SMU had four players score double digits on the night including Zach Nutall with 17, Efe Odigie with 16, Zhuric Phelps with 13 and Stefan Todorovic with 11.
This is the sixth time this season SMU has had four or more players score double figures in a game.
This loss takes SMU’s season record to 7-13, and 2-5 in the American Athletic Conference.
The Mustangs are hoping for a successful outcome in their upcoming away match vs. Memphis this Thursday.