by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, February 24th, 2018


BY: Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                                                     Member USBWA

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – The Wichita Wheat Shockers avenged a January 17th loss with an 84-78 win over the SMU Mustangs Saturday afternoon before a sellout crowd of 6,931 in Moody Coliseum. Shorthanded SMU relied on the three point shot to stay within reach of the 13th ranked Shockers; but in the end, Wichita State was too big and too deep to overcome. The Shockers improve to 23-5 for the season and 13-3 in American Athletic Conference play. They stay in second place trailing Cincinnati by one-half game. The Mustangs fall to 16-13 and 6-10.

SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich said about the game, “One: They (Wichita State) are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Two: They’re really, really big. Three: They’re really, really deep; so they’ve got fresh people in the whole game. We are really, really small. Been playing a lot of zone. We have no depth. Those are the facts; but even with that, I think we could have done a better job.”

He continued, “I’m kind of looking at this game two ways. Really thrilled with our effort. So proud. We did so many good things. There is no way I can fault our effort. On the other hand, with a little better rebounding and a couple of (better) stretches offensively, maybe we had a chance to win this basketball game.”

It was a game in which the Mustangs played with just seven scholarship players, each of whom played at least 19 minutes. Leading scorer, Shake Milton, missed his seventh consecutive game because of a hand injury, and the Mustangs are 1-6 in that stretch.

The first half was a nip and tuck affair, though Wichita State held the lead for most of the period.   SMU held the lead twice for a total of 1:10, while the Shockers led for 18:05. However, their largest lead was only eight points. SMU finished off the first half on a 10-5 run to cut a seven point lead down to just two at intermission at 37-35.

The game really got away from the Ponies early in the second half. Wichita State ran the lead into double digits in the first six minutes. The Shockers lead was in double digits most of the rest of the game, and they had the game wrapped up with 1:37 left as they held their largest lead of 17 points. However, the Mustangs finished off the game with a 13-2 run to close the final margin to just six points.

Jahmal McMurray led the Mustangs’ scorers with 28 points. Jimmy Whitt, Jr., was the only other SMU player in double digits with 16 points. Whitt also led the Mustangs with six assists. The Mustangs were out-rebounded to the tune of 41-23, which accounts largely for the difference in the score. Wichita State grabbed 17 offensive rebounds which led to a 16-7 lead in second chance points.

Five Shockers scored in double digits led by Markis McDuffie with 26. McDuffie was not a starter and managed that point total in just 25 minutes. Shaquile Morris, the largest Shocker at 6’-8” and 279 pounds, also reached the 20 point plateau with 21. Conner Frankamp with 12, Austin Reeves with 11 and Landry Shamut with 10 points were the other Shockers scoring in double digits. Morris added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

The Mustangs finish their home regular season schedule next Wednesday when they host the Houston Cougars. UH beat the Mustangs in their earlier matchup in Houston 67-58 on February 8. The Cougars were ranked 23rd in the two major polls this week, though they lost last Thursday to Memphis to fall to 21-6 for the season and are in third place in conference play with an 11-4 AAC record. Houston hosts East Carolina on Sunday.

Houston is probably in for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid, but they are battling Tulsa for the number three seed in the conference tournament. They also still have a mathematical chance to win the regular season conference championship.

Wednesday will be senior night at Moody Coliseum. SMU will honor seniors Ben Emelogu and Akoy Agau prior to the game. The tip-off is slated for 8:00 PM (Central), and the game will be televised on ESPN2


  • Ben Emelogu made two three point baskets to bring his SMU career total to 100 three point baskets made.
  • SMU leads the all-time series with Wichita State six games to four, including a 4-1 record in Moody coliseum.

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