MUSTANGS ROMP OVER VAQUEROS

by Dan M | Posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

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BY: Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                                                      Member USBWA

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – SMU improved their record to 6-2 with a 95-64 win over U.T.-Rio Grande Valley Tuesday night before a Moody Coliseum crowd of 6,326. SMU led this game all the way taking a 24 point lead to the halftime locker room before finishing off the Vaqueros by 31. UT-Rio Grande Valley fell to 3-5 with the loss.

“This is the very, very beginning of a team that is getting together. We are trying to become a great team, and that is a process,” Head Coach Tim Jankovich said. “We’ve already started tweaking it a little bit. I think we’ll look a lot different in another three or four games. A good night for us, but a long long way to go before we can be the kind of team I think we can be.”

Three Mustangs scored in double digits in the first half, as SMU took charge of the game early. Four Ponies finished in double digits with Shake Milton leading the way with 22 points. It’s the third time this year that he has tallied more than 20 points. His 22 included 9-10 from the free throw line. He has missed only five free throws this season in 47 tries.

Jarrey Foster matched his career high with 19 points. It’s the third game this year that he’s scored 19. Jimmy Whitt established a new career high with 18 points, 16 of which came in the first half as the Mustangs took charge of the scoreboard. Super frosh Ethan Chargois again scored in double digits with 15 points. He has tallied in double digits in six of eight games, and is averaging 12.5 points per game. All nine scholarship players scored, including Akoy Agau, who appeared in just his third game this season as he slowly rounds into playing shape after being sidelined with an infection.

The Mustangs posted 21 assists on 33 made baskets (64%). Whitt led the team with six assists, and all nine scholarship players that appeared in the game recorded at least one. The Mustangs took good care of the ball, turning it over just seven times, while forcing the Vaqueros into 15. The Ponies also out rebounded the Vaqueros 36-27, with Ben Emelogu leading the team with six boards.

The schedule to start December toughens considerably. The Mustangs now face ranked opponents in their next two games beginning with Southern Cal this Saturday night at Moody Coliseum. Southern Cal beat the Mustangs twice last season including the game that eliminated SMU from the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans have a 4-1 record and are ranked 14th in this week’s Associated Press poll and 18th in the USA Today Coaches’ poll. Game time is 9:00 PM (Central), and it will be televised on ESPNU.

Jankovich said about this Saturday’s game, “This is one of the most talented teams in America. USC is ultra, ultra talented. They’ve got a whole team back (from last year). They are going to be a monster opponent. We’re going to have to play an amazing game (to win).”

NOTABLE:

  • The 95 points the Mustangs scored is the most they have scored in a game this year, and the 49 points they scored in the first half are the most they have scored in a half this year.   SMU shot 55% for the game, their best shooting night of the season.
  • STREAKS: The Mustangs have now won 27 consecutive home games, the third longest active streak in the NCAA. They trail Oregon with 46 and Cincinnati with 30 consecutive home wins. 23 of the 27 games have been won by at least 10 points. SMU is also 30-0 at Moody Coliseum under Tim Jankovich as head coach, and 45-7 overall under Jankovich.
  • Most members of the Mustang Band and many students in attendance at the game wore Hawaiian shirts and leis around their necks as they campaigned for the football team to be invited to the Hawaii Bowl when bids are announced this Sunday.
  • SEEN AT THE GAME: Former President and First Lady George and Laura Bush.
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