MUSTANGS ROUT SOUTH FLORIDA

by Dan M | Posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Image result for SMU vs USF January 1 2020 basketball

BY:  Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                                    Member United States Basketball Writers Association

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – The SMU Mustangs’ Men’s basketball team opened American Athletic Conference play Wednesday afternoon with an 82-64 win over the South Florida Bulls.  The Mustangs took charge of this game early, playing their best game of the season.  They built a lead of as much as 18 points in the first half and stretched that to 28 points in the second half to cruise to the win.  SMU record goes to 10-2 for the season and 1-0 in conference play.  South Florida, perhaps the most disappointing team in the AAC this season, fell to 7-7 and 0-1.  

SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich agreed after the game that the first half was the best they have played this year saying, “Yeah, for sure.  Feels like it.  I just loved how we played most of the game, not just the (first) half.  I loved the way we moved the ball.  I loved the way we defended.  (We) could have rebounded better.  When you shoot well, you think you played great.  The reason I thought we shot well is because we really moved the ball, shared the ball, found the open man, took the open shot, took good shots for the most part.  That’s when you have a chance to shoot well.”

The Mustangs led 12-9 a little over five minutes into the game, and then took advantage of some sloppy USF ball handling to reel off a 12-3 run to lead by 12.  Later in the half, they built the lead to as many as 18 points and led by 16 at intermission.  They started the second half just as hot outscoring the Bulls 14-3 in the first five minutes to essentially put the game away at 56-29.

SMU shot 63% in the first half and finished at 57.9% for the game, their second best shooting night of the season.  Isiah Mike led the way with 24 points.  Three other Mustangs scored in double digits.  Two players off the bench made significant contributions.  Emmanuel Bandoumel tossed in a dozen points, and Everett Ray made all three of the shots he took, which included two from beyond the three point line for eight points. 

The Mustangs play again this Saturday, facing Vanderbilt in Nashville for their final non-conference game of the regular season.  Game time is 8:00 PM (Central), and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.  The Commodores are 8-4 this year.  Both teams come into the game on a two game winning streak.    

NOTABLE:

  • Feron Hunt was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll for the week ending December 29.  He scored 18 points by making nine of eleven shots against Georgia State in SMU’s only game of the week.  Eight of the nine made shots were dunks. 
  • Wednesday’s game was SMU’s fourth ever on New Year’s Day and the second at Moody Coliseum.  SMU is 3-1 in those games with Sunday’s win.
  • The official paid attendance for Wednesday’s game was 3,980 which brings the season total to 37,044, a per game average of 4,116.
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