PONIES RALLY TO BEAT TEMPLE

by Dan M | Posted on Sunday, January 19th, 2020

Image result for SMU vs Temple January 18

BY:  Dic Humphrey                                                                                                                                                                         MEMBER:  United States Basketball Writers Association

UNIVERSITY PARK, TEXAS – The SMU Mustangs outscored Temple 43-25 in the second half to beat the Owls 68-52 Saturday night at Moody Coliseum.  Tyson Jolly emerged from a three game shooting slump to lead the charge with 22 second half points.  The win ended a two game Mustang losing streak and improves their record to 13-4 for the season and 3-2 in American Athletic Conference play.  Temple falls to 10-7 and 2-4.

Jolly talked said about how he came out of the shooting slump, “Just staying confident.  Staying the course.  My teammates telling me to stay confident.  I knew I could make shots.  They just weren’t falling.  I watched the film.  It was just really finding my rhythm.”    

SMU took an early 8-4 lead to start the game, but Temple rallied with a 12-0 run to take charge.  With six minutes remaining in the half, Temple’s lead had grown to 11 points, but the Mustangs finished off the half with an 11-2 run to trail by just two points at intermission, 27-25.  The Ponies continued the run to start the second half, outscoring the Owls 7-3 in less than three minutes to take a two point lead that they never relinquished.

SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich said he thought the second half was the best half his team had played this year.  The Owls built the first half lead by shooting 42% from the field, which included 60% from behind the three point line.  SMU’s defense keyed the second half rally as the Mustangs held Temple to just 24.1% from the field after halftime.  

“We just guarded, and we rebounded too,” Kendric Davis said about the second half turn around.  “We’d get a stop which leads to a kick out and an easy basket.”  

Jolly finished the night with a double-double scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, both game highs.  Isiah Mike also recorded a double-double with 12 and 10.  Two other Mustangs almost recorded double-doubles.  Davis scored 10 points with a game high nine assists.  Feron Hunt, who wasn’t cleared to play until 20 minutes prior to game time because of back issues, was able to play 26 minutes off the bench and scored 10 points with eight rebounds.

Temple’s Jake Forrester scored 10 first half points to put the Owls in the early driver’s seat.  He scored just four more points in the second half to lead Temple with 14.  Nate Pierre-Louis put in 12, and Quinton Rose added 10.   Forrester also pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Owls.      

The Mustangs are home again next Wednesday, January 22 for a re-match with the East Carolina Pirates.  ECU upset the Mustangs January 11 71-68.  When asked about getting revenge for that loss, Jolly quickly answered, “We can’t wait!”.   The Pirates have an 8-9 record for the season and a 2-2 record in conference play.  They square off against Cincinnati Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.  Wednesday’s game time is 7:00 PM (Central), and it will be televised on ESPN3.

NOTABLE:

  • At halftime, SMU awarded the prestigious Silver Anniversary Mustang Award (SAM Award) to Bob Begert.  Begert played basketball at SMU and was a member of three Mustang teams that won the Southwest Conference championship and went to the NCAA Tournament.  He received an undergraduate business degree in 1967 and a law degree in 1971.  He has been active in civic and community activities especially as a member of the Salesmanship Club.  The SAM Award is presented annually to a former SMU letterman that has been a graduate for at least 25 years.
  • Saturday’s game was the 13th between Temple and SMU, and the Mustangs now hold a 7-6 edge in the series.  Temple beat SMU in Philadelphia in the 1937-38 season and beat SMU in the third place game at the NCAA Final Four in 1956.  They have now met 11 times as members of the American Athletic Conference.
  • Coming into Saturday’s game, Kendric Davis was second in scoring in the conference with 16.5 points per game and was first in the conference with 7.1 assists per game, which was 10th in the nation.  Isiah Mike at 15.4 points per game was fourth in conference scoring.
  • Everett Ray was not available for Saturday’s game dealing with a knee issue. 
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