SMU men's basketball loses tight game at Marshall, 64-62 despite Dia’s double double
Published: Monday, February 28, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Despite coming within two points of Marshall University with seven seconds left in regulation play, the SMU men's basketball team suffered a 62-60 loss to the Thundering Herd Saturday night on the road.
Robert Nyakundi, who finished with 11 points, two assists and one steal on the night, nailed the three-pointer that put his team in position to win, but the Mustangs (17-11, 8-6 Conference USA) were unable to get a final shot off before the buzzer. Instead, freshman point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas was called for a foul, sending Marshall's Damier Pitts to the line and putting the Thundering Herd back up by four.
A foul was then called on the home team's DeAndre Kane as Samarrippas made two free throws of his own but SMU's final effort came too late.
Marshall (20-9, 8-6 C-USA) trailed by three with less than ten minutes to play but a 9-0 scoring run put the home team in the lead for the remainder of the game, sending SMU, who was previously just one game out of first place in C-USA standings, to sixth place.
SMU led at the break 29-26 with senior Papa Dia scoring 12 of his 21 points and six of his 12 rebounds in the first half.
Dia would go on to finish the night with a game-high 21 points, securing his 13th double double of the season and 26th of his career.
Dia, a contender for Conference USA Player of the Year, ranks first in the league in field goal percentage, third in rebounds and fourth in scoring.
Looking for their second consecutive win, SMU came out of the half weak, allowing Marshall's Johnny Thomas to hit a lay up off a Mustangs turnover and put the Thundering Herd on top 32-29.
The Mustangs answered back, sparking a 10-2 run after a timeout, to gain their largest lead of the game, but Marshall came back with a 10-2 rally of their own to regain the lead.
As a team, SMU out-shot Marshall in field goal, three-point and free throw percentage, while also scoring 36 points in the paint compared to only 28 from the Thundering Herd. Marshall won on the boards, though pulling down 27 rebounds compared to SMU's 22 and generating 19 points off SMU turnovers.
Samarrippas completed the night scoring 11 points with six assists.
Pitt scored a team-high of 19 points for his team. Kane added 13 while Tirrell Baines had 12, as the Thundering Herd went on to clinch their fifth consecutive victory; the longest winning stretch the team has recorded since joining C-USA in 2005-2006.
The Mustangs and Marshall are now in a two-way tie for sixth place and remain two games out of the No. 1 spot in league play.
With two games left in the regular season, SMU travels to Orlando, Fla. to play against the University of Central Florida on Wednesday. The Mustangs will return to Moody Coliseum for their final home game on Wednesday when they host the University of Texas at El Paso Miners at 2 p.m.