SMU BLASTS CAL-POLY

by Dan M | Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

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BY: Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                                                      Member USBWA

UNIIVERSITY PARK, Texas – SMU breezed to an easy 84-64 win over the Cal-Poly Mustangs Tuesday night to complete the non-conference portion of their schedule. An announced crowd of 6,480 saw the Mustangs score first on an Ethan Chargois three point basket 24 seconds after the opening tip and never trail in the game. It was a game of long ball as both teams rang up double digit totals of made three point shots. In the end though, SMU out-rebounded (39-30) and out-shot (50%-37%) Cal-poly for their 10th win of the season. The Mustangs have lost three games. Cal-Poly is 4-8 with the loss and will tramp across the Metroplex to face U.T.-Arlington on Thursday.

SMU needed slightly less than 10 minutes to push the lead into double digits at 22-12. However, Cal-Poly answered with three straight baskets to cut the lead to three points. SMU took charge of the game for good over the final 8:30 of the first half, building the lead to as many as 16 twice and taking a 14 point lead to the halftime locker room at 40-26.

After a slow start to the second half, SMU went on a 25-12 run to get the lead to 28 points, their largest of the night. Cal-Poly was marginally in the game because of their three point shooting. 12 of their 22 baskets were long rangers. SMU blistered them in return with 15 made baskets from the three point stripe.

Ben Emelogu is simply on fire. He led the American Athletic Conference in three point shooting percentage when the week began and proceeded to make eight of nine in this week’s games against Boise State and Cal-Poly. He’s now shooting 62.5% from behind the three point arc for the season.

SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich said in his post-game interview on radio station KAAM 770, “I don’t know what’s gotten into him (Emelogu), but I’m buying it!”

Emelogu led SMU with 19 points Tuesday night. Shake Milton put in 16 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists, both game highs. Chargois scored 13 points, and Jahmal McMurray came off the SMU bench for his second double digit scoring game with 13 points.

Another good sign for SMU was Akoy Agau. The big man has struggled with a knee injury that has limited his practice time and his ability to get into top physical shape. He played a season high 14 minutes, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds. SMU needs a strong contribution from Agau as they slug through the rugged conference schedule.

SMU will give their players a short break for the Christmas holiday, and return to open conference play with two home games next week. The opener is Wednesday, December 27 against Central Florida. The Knights are 8-3 so far this season. Game time is 8:00 PM Central, and the game will be televised on ESPN2. SMU beat UCF last season in both meetings, 65-60 in Orlando in the regular season, and 70-59 in the AAC post-season tournament in Hartford, Connecticut. SMU is 6-1 all-time against UCF in Dallas.

NOTABLE:

  • SMU and Cal-Poly are the only two teams in Division 1 basketball with Mustangs as their mascot. Tuesday’s game was the first meeting between these two schools.
  • SMU extended their home winning streak to 31 games and has won their last 32 home non-conference games.
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