Mustangs will play Owls in farewell to Moody
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 22:02
After 57 seasons and more than 500 wins, SMU men’s basketball will play its final home game in Moody Coliseum’s current configuration on Wednesday when the Mustangs play host to the Rice Owls at 7 p.m.
SMU beat Rice earlier this season 61-39 with a dominating performance on the road that was the Mustangs third and most recent win in Conference USA this season.
This time around, the Mustangs will have to contain Rice’s leading scorer Tamir Jackson, who is averaging over 18 points per game since the Mustangs held him to just 11 points on Feb. 9.
Jackson is also the Owls leading rebounder, averaging over five rebounds per game. The Owls have had their struggles rebounding this season, averaging 25.8 per game, good for 346th in the country.
The Mustangs on the other hand average over 33 rebounds per game and have Jalen Jones and Cannen Cunningham to thank for the majority of them. Jones averages 8.2 rebounds per game and Cunningham averages 6.2 per game.
The Mustangs are coming off a tough loss at home against East Carolina that saw them give up an 11-point lead at the half, only to lose 72-69 when Cunningham’s game-tying three-pointer missed the mark.
Jones has been the most consistent player for the Mustangs this season and will be looked to for the hustle plays that SMU fans have become accustomed to this season from him. Jones is a physical presence for the Mustangs especially on the offensive glass, averaging 3.5 offensive rebounds per game.
With Rice not being a great rebounding team, SMU will look to take advantage to convert second chance opportunities into points in this game.
SMU has had their struggles with depth this season with a short bench due to transfers sitting out, but in the last game against Rice that did not appear to be an issue. If the Mustangs starters can get off to a good start the team will be able to rotate in bodies to keep the starters fresh at the end of the game.
One of the bench players is senior London Giles, who will be honored before the game in his last competition at Moody. Giles has played through a lingering leg injury this season. Giles is averaging 2.8 points per game and 1.3 rebounds per game in just over 13 minutes on average per game this season.
SMU finishes out their season with two road games against University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tulsa in before playing a home game away from SMU against UTEP. The Mustangs current record leaves them as the second worst team in C-USA at 3-9.