by Dan M | Posted on Sunday, March 4th, 2018

MBBvSMU_0062_1_BY: Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                      Member USBWA

The SMU Men’s basketball team ended the regular season Sunday on a losing note in Tampa. The woeful, but suddenly surging South Florida Bulls played a strong second half to overcome a five point halftime deficit and beat the Mustangs 65-54. The win was the Bulls’ second of the week, but just their third conference win this year. They finish the regular season at 10-21 overall and 3-15 in American Athletic Conference play. SMU goes to 16-15 and 6-12.

USF Head Coach Brian Gregg was obviously pleased with the win.   After the game he said on ESPN News, “Give our group credit. They could have bailed on the season, but they haven’t. You’ve gotta believe, and you’ve gotta work.”

Obviously that paid off this week as they beat Memphis on the road by more than 20 points and tagged SMU with a double digit loss on Sunday.

The Mustangs took a five point lead to the halftime locker room, 27-22. They shot well inside making 10-12 on two point shots. Incredibly, they were only 1-9 from the free throw line and 2-11 from the three point arc.

South Florida took the game over early in the second half by starting with a 19-6 run to turn the five point deficit into a five point lead. SMU never led again, and USF’s lead grew to as many as 14 points.

SMU shot a very poor 30.8% in the second half, including just 2-16 from the three point line. USF countered by shooting 62.5%. For the game, SMU was an awful 4-27 from the three point arc and 2-12 from the free throw line.

Ethan Chargois emerged from a prolonged slump to lead the Mustangs with 15 points off the bench. That total could easily have been in the 20’s as he went 0-4 from the three point line and 1-8 at the free throw line. Jimmy Whitt, Jr. also scored in double digits with 14 points. Ben Emelogu was the Mustangs’ leading rebounder with a career high 11.

Jahmal McMurray began his career at South Florida. This was his first return trip to the Sun Dome, and he struggled. He scored seven points on 3-11 shooting.

It was a coming out party for South Florida freshman David Collins, who scored 21 points to lead the Bulls. Malik Martin came off the bench to add 15 more, while Stephan Jiggetts added 14. Terrence Samuels led all rebounders with 12. South Florida recorded 18 assists on 24 made baskets with six players contributing at least one.

“We never put the ball in the basket,” SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich said on radio station KAAM 770 AM. “It’s incredibly frustrating. Not everyone can shoot right now,” he said in reference to a number of nagging injuries that the seven available scholarship players are playing through. “And the ones that can didn’t have a good night. Everything needs to go right for us to win. They didn’t today.”

The Mustangs now go to the American Athletic Conference post-season tournament as the number nine seed. All games will be played at the Amway Center in Orlando. SMU will play Connecticut next Thursday at noon Eastern/11:00 AM Central. The winner of this game plays regular season champion Cincinnati on Friday at the same time. The game will be televised on ESPNU.


  • Shake Milton did not play for the ninth straight game. SMU is 1-8 in those games. He is still listed as day-to-day, so it is not known if he’ll play in the conference tournament.



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