SMU men's basketball takes down Rice Owls, 75-68
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Robert Nyakundi had another show-stopping performance in SMU's 75-68 win over the Rice Owls Saturday afternoon in Houston.
In addition to scoring a career-high 29 points, Nyakundi, fresh off hitting the game-winning shot last week against Tulsa, had seven three-pointers on the night in his team's third consecutive win. Nyakundi also led his team on the boards with six rebounds.
"Seven of 11 in three's… I thought that was foul shots," head coach Matt Doherty said. "That's unbelievable.
The win over Rice marks the first time since the 2002-2003 season the Mustangs have won consecutive road games.
Former Conference USA Player of the Week, Papa Dia, added 19 points, while Mike Walker contributed 13. Leading Rice was Arsalan Kazemi with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Rice gained their biggest lead at 15-6 after Papa Dia picked up his second personal foul, sending Rice's Arsalan Kazemi's for two successful free throws.
With Dia on the bench, SMU cut Rice's lead to four before Dia returned and hit a layup to bring the score to 27-29 with 2:02 left in the first.
Still trailing by two with Nyakudni and Collin Mangrum nailing back-to-back threes, as part of a 10-2 SMU run that ended the half with SMU leading 35-29.
The Mustangs went on to hold the lead the entirety of the game, never allowing the Owls to come within more than four points of tying the score.
With the win, SMU (13-8, 4-3 Conference USA) moved up to fifth place in conference standings. The Mustangs also lead the conference in field goal, three-point and free throw percentages.
"You hope for it," Doherty said about his team's recent success. "The guy's have gained confidence and all of a sudden they feel like they can beat a lot of opponents, and so hopefully we can stay humble, learn from our wins, try to get better but yet have the confidence that we feel we can beat everybody."
As a whole, the Mustangs shot 56.3 percent from the field and went 11-for-26 in threes, while Rice (10-11, 2-5 C-USA) hit only 44 percent of their field goals.
SMU hosts East Carolina University (11-9, 3-3 C-USA) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.