MUSTANGS BUST THE BRONCOS

by Dan M | Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

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BY: Dic Humphrey

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – The SMU Men’s basketball team avenged one of their five losses from last year with an 86-63 win over the Boise State Broncos Tuesday night before a Moody Coliseum crowd of 6,551. The Mustangs played one of their better games of the year with five players scoring in double digits and getting 22 points off the bench to improve to 9-3. Boise State is 10-2 with the loss.

“This was one of our best games,” SMU Head Coach Jankovich said. “We’ve played some good ones, but this was one of the best. Boise’s good. Boise is hard to guard. They went to Oregon and ended a long, long (winning) streak. For us to hold them to the defensive numbers we did, I couldn’t be more proud. This is a big game for us. They’re at a 28 RPI. These are games that later on down the road when they start figuring things out in March, these matter. This is a quality win.”

The Mustangs took charge of this game early. They led for more than 16 minutes of the first half, and pushed that lead into double digits with about six minutes left until intermission. They shot 56% from the field including 57% from the three point line to lead by as many as 14. The score at halftime was 33-22. Guards Ben Emelogu (12 points) and Jimmy Whitt, Jr. (10 points) led the scoring parade.

The second half was even better. SMU’s scored the first seven points, and the Mustangs’ lead never dropped into the single digits. The Mustang’s shot 61.3% to finish at 58.9% for the night, their best shooting night of the year. Meanwhile they held the Broncos to just 37.7% as this was one of the Mustangs’ best defensive games of the year. The Ponies pushed the lead to as many as 27 before they cleared the bench.

A big story of this game was Jahmal McMurray. The South Florida transfer became eligible for Monday’s game. He is a junior in eligibility. As a freshman, he played in all 33 of USF’s games, starting 26. He averaged 15.2 points per game in route to making the AAC All-Rookie team. Last year, he played in just three games before deciding to transfer,

He came off the bench Monday night to lead the Mustangs with 16 points. He’s lightening quick. He can handle the ball as well as shoot it. He guards. He’s a significant addition to a young team that is getting better.

“I was in some ways not surprised. He’s a heck of a player,” Jankovich said about McMurray. “But on the other hand it’s just not that easy psychologically just to get thrown in there and start playing well. He looked pretty darn comfortable to me. He’s a confident player. (He’s a) welcome addition, no question. It gives us another really good weapon.”

Whitt, Jr. and Ethan Chargois also matched McMurray’s 16 points. Emelogu finished with 12, and Shake Milton put in 11, as five Mustangs scored in double digits for the third straight game. Milton and Chargois were the leading rebounders in the game with seven. The Ponies again shared the ball well, racking up 21 assists on 33 made baskets. Milton led with seven assists.

“We really played well tonight. We’re getting better,” Jankovich said. “Obviously the addition there (McMurray). We had some really good practices this week. Maybe some of the best we’ve had.”

The Mustangs come back for another game on Tuesday. Cal-Poly with a 4-7 record comes to Moody Coliseum in a game the Mustangs will surely win. (Cal-Poly’s mascot is also the Mustangs.) It will be SMU’s final non-conference game of the season.

NOTABLE:

  • Ethan Chargois was named American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week for the second time this year. He scored 16 points and pulled down a game high eight rebounds in SMU’s lone game against New Orleans last week. Jimmy Whitt, Jr. was named to the conference weekly honor roll. He had a career high 18 points and a career high eight assists in the New Orleans game.
  • SMU is 48-8 under coach Jankovich. The Boise State win was SMU’s 30th consecutive home win.
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  1. Karl Koenig says:

    Dic. Was fortunate to be at Moody for last night’s game, and thought we looked awfully good following the layoff. What a treat to see the “big men” moving and contributing so well! See you soon….Karl

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