BAD NEWS FOR BEARS

by Dan M | Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2015

 

SMU Logo

BY:  Dic Humphrey

 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – SMU, ranked 25th in the AP Top 25 poll this week, remained undefeated by cruising past the Brown University Bears 77-69 Sunday afternoon in Moody Coliseum.  SMU dressed just eight players for the game including a walk-on, as they were without starters Nic Moore (injury) and Ben Moore (discipline).  In the end, SMU’s size wore down the smaller Bears for the win.  SMU’s record improved to 4-0, and Brown’s dropped to 1-5.

 

Brown came out with a hot hand shooting three pointers.  “We shot the ball well to keep us in the game,” Brown head coach Mike Martin told reporters.  Brown hit five of the first six shots they took from beyond the arc and led for more than four minutes in the first half.  The score was tied at 31 with 7:54 until halftime, but SMU closed out with a 17-6 run to take command of the game.

 

In the second half, SMU never trailed, pushed the lead to as many as 16, and trailed by less than 10 points only briefly.  Brown ended the night making 15 of 32 three point attempts to keep the outcome in doubt.

 

For the fourth straight game, SMU had at least four players score in double digits.  They were led by Keith Frazier’s 23 points, the most scored in a game by a Mustang this season and Frazier’s career high.  Freshman Jarrey Foster came off the bench to put in 15, also his career high, Markus Kennedy had 13, and Jordan Tolbert (10) scored in double digits for the second consecutive game.

 

Tolbert also pulled down a game high 10 rebounds to record his first double-double at SMU.  Seven Mustangs chipped in to run SMU’s assist total to a season high 26 for the game.  Shake Milton, who started at the point for Nic Moore, tallied seven of them, the most for an SMU player in a game this season.  SMU out-rebounded the Bears 42-29.  It was a team effort with five players pulling down at least five rebounds.

 

The Bears had three players score in double digits, most notably, junior Steven Spieth.  Spieth is the reason this game was scheduled.  When Martin recruited him three years ago out of Jesuit High School, he promised that Brown would play in Dallas.  Spieth was able to travel to Dallas on Wednesday and enjoyed Thanksgiving Day with his family.  He admitted that he had watched the Golf Channel on Saturday to see how his brother Jordan fared in the Australian Open.

 

“Tough second place,” Spieth commented about his brother’s finish.

 

Spieth tallied 14 points, which included 12 points from three point shots and 2-2 from the free throw line.  Sunday’s performance improved his average to 10.7 points per game this season.

 

“I didn’t shoot the ball as well as I wanted,” Spieth said.  He finished 4-13 (31%) after getting off to a hot start by making his first three shots.

 

Brown is scheduled to return to Dallas next year to play the Mustangs around Thanksgiving.

 

SMU associate head coach Tim Jankovich told the media, “Given the circumstances, I’m very, very happy (with the win).”  He of course was referring to the two missing starters and the resulting short bench.  “I worry about foul trouble every single game, particularly with a short bench.”  Jankovich admitted that he utilized a zone defense more than usual, even though none of his players ever got into foul difficulty.  “I feel like this is a very good win under the circumstances, and I’m proud of it.  And I’m proud of our guys.”

 

Nic Moore has been nursing a broken finger on his right hand.  He played the last two games in considerable pain.  Jankovich was optimistic that Nic will return for the next game.  Ben Moore was on the SMU bench in street clothes suspended from playing for an unspecified violation of team rules.  Jankovich indicated after the game that he was not at liberty to fully explain the situation and that he did not know how long the suspension will last.  It could be just the one game, but it could be more.

 

The official paid attendance was 6,852, but the actual turnstile count was much less.  Between Thanksgiving Weekend and cold and rainy weather in Dallas, there were a noticeable number of empty seats.  Included in the crowd however, were former President and First Lady George and Laura Bush.  They received a standing ovation when introduced to the crowd.

 

The Mustangs next travel across the Metroplex to face TCU Wednesday night (December 2).  The game will be played in the Wilkerson-Greines Center, as the renovation of the former Daniel Meyer Coliseum will not be completed until later in December.  TCU is 3-2 on the season, and all five games have been home games.  The game begins at 7:00 PM (Central), and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest.

 

SMU returns to play in Moody Coliseum next Saturday (December 5) against New Hampshire.  Game time is 1:00 PM.

 

MUSTANG MORSELS:

 

  • The SMU Men’s soccer team closed out their season with a 2-1 loss to Akron Sunday.  They finished with a 15-3-4 record after advancing to the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Tournament.  Akron advances to the tournament quarterfinals with the win.
  • The SMU Women’s basketball team won the SMU Thanksgiving Classic this weekend.  They beat Cal-State Fullerton 74-53 in the opening game on Friday night to advance to the finals where they beat Kansas 73-64 to claim the championship.  The Mustangs are now 3-2 on the season and next play the University of North Texas on Tuesday night at 7:00.  The game will be played in Denton, the Mustangs’ first road game of the season.

 

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