MUSTANGS CORRAL GAUCHOS

by Dan M | Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

December 8, 2015: The SMU Mustangs student body "The Mob" cheer at center court during the game between the Southern Methodist Mustangs and the Michigan Wolverines at Moody Coliseum.  Photo by Vladimir Cherry

BY: Dic Humphrey

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – The SMU Men’s basketball team improved to 4-1 with an easy 84-57 win over the UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos Tuesday night in Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs took charge of this one early as they never trailed after the first three minutes. They ripped apart the Gauchos 3-2 zone with great ball movement that generated 21 assists on 29 made baskets. The lead was 15 at halftime and grew to as much as 29 in the second half. UC-Santa Barbara fell to 0-4 with the loss.

The Mustangs bounced back nicely from their first loss of the season – last Friday’s miserable performance against Michigan. “Great. Great!” was coach Tim Jankovich’s reaction to the bounce back performance.

“First of all we had to pick up our defensive intensity. It wasn’t as good as we expected in the Michigan game,” Dashawn McDowell said.

Harry Froling indicated the coaches delivered a message after the Michigan game saying, “They just touched on the Michigan game on how it’s not acceptable how we played. And wanted to leave it in the past. It was the next game mentality.”

In the first half, Semi Ojeleye led the Mustangs’ charge with 15 points en route to a 41-26 halftime lead. Ojeleye made six baskets in seven attempts with half of the made baskets being three pointers. Overall, the Ponies shot 60% and held the Gauchos to 39%.

Sterling Brown scored 10 second half points as the lead continued to build. In the end, all 11 players, including walk-ons Jonathan Wilfong and Leo Kontopoulos, saw action and scored.

Ojeleye led the Mustangs in scoring for the fifth consecutive game with 22 points. Brown finished with 14 points, while Ben Moore and Shake Milton were also in double digits with 12 points each. Jarrey Foster dished out a game high seven assists, while Moore led with seven rebounds.

Jankovich was more than pleased with the game. “I think Santa Barbara has some outstanding guards. I think Childress and Vincent are very talented and very hard to guard.” Gabe Vincent led the Gauchos with 18 points, while Eric Childress was the other Gaucho in double digits with 11.

He was particularly pleased with the offensive effort against UCSB’s zone defense. “We have seen more zone in five games than we probably have seen in 15 in the last few years. I don’t know if this is coincidental or if it is what’s going on in college basketball, or if people are just afraid to match up with us. Because we are a little tricky to match up with, because Semi and Ben are not traditional big guys. Our zone offense is ahead of where most teams are. I’m thrilled; I feel so comfortable. We have a lot of stuff in. We have a lot of different ways to attack a zone. We know what we’re doing. We’ve practiced it a lot.”

The Mustangs now travel to Los Angeles to play Southern Cal Friday at the Galen Center on the USC campus. Game time is 6:00 PM (Central), and the game will be televised on the PAC 12 Network. KAAM 770 AM will have the radio broadcast in the Dallas area.

AND ALSO:

  • The Mustangs have had four double digit scorers in four of five games this year.
  • The paid attendance was 6,852, the third consecutive sellout this year and the 40th sellout in the last 51 home games.
  • The SMU Women’s team also played Tuesday night prior to the men’s game. They improved to 3-1 on the season with a 61-54 win over the Prairie View A&M Panthers. The Mustangs played a terrible second quarter, as they had difficulty scoring against Prairie View’s 3-2 zone. They trailed at the half 28-16. First year head coach Travis Mays had the magic words at halftime. SMU stormed back after intermission to win. They finally caught Prairie View at 45 in the fourth quarter before taking their first lead of the game. The game was tied at 54 in the last minute, but the Mustangs broke the tie with a three pointer, got the ball back on an offensive foul, scored a two point basket and made a pair of free throws after getting a steal to wrap up the seven point win.
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