SMU steams through second helping of Rice
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 00:03
Behind Shawn Williams’s 17 points and Cannen Cunningham’s 13 points, the SMU men’s basketball team beat Rice 67-55 in the team’s final game in Moody Coliseum this season and the last one in Moody’s current configuration before $47 million in renovations move inside the facility on March 4th.
“I’m happy for the school because we started out with a win and we ended with a win. That was pretty nice,” SMU head coach Larry Brown said.
The Mustangs swept the season series against the Owls after a beat down in Houston and then beating them again in Dallas on Wednesday night. Brown said that the players were able to pick their heads up after Rice started to come back in the game.
“Really, looking back on the game, we should have done better, but that game we should have closed it out and been up 20-25 points,” Williams said.
Coach Brown echoed Williams when he said there was plenty of things for the team to work on.
“The nice thing about this sport is that the film doesn’t lie and you can use it as a tool to teach and that’s what we’ve got to do,” Brown said.
What was different in this game from most games this season was that Jalen Jones was in foul trouble and had a very pedestrian night with only five points and four rebounds. Jones eventually fouled out with 1:38 left in the game.
With Jones in trouble, Williams and Cunningham picked up the pace for the rest of the team. Cunningham added 13 rebounds to go with his scoring totals for his second career double-double while playing all 40 minutes of the game.
Williams tied a career high in points, 17, and blocks, 3, and also grabbed six rebounds. Williams and Cunningham were a huge reason why SMU was able to control the game tempo and momentum.
The Mustangs honored senior London Giles before the game as the lone senior on the squad and Bobby Mills, `77, who made the first shot in Moody Coliseum, made the “final shot” in pre-renovated Moody after the game.
“Mr. Mills must have watched us play because he missed the first two layups, but he made the one that counted.”
SMU faces UAB on the road in Birmingham on March 2 at 2 p.m. CT and the Lady Mustangs will close out Moody Coliseum with their final two games on Feb. 28 and March 3 against Tulane and UTEP respectively.
SMU’s Moody Coliseum renovations will be ready by the time the team plays their first Big East game next season, but Brown was focused on the team — not the renovations.
“It’s going to be really special. We’ve just got to have a team worthy of being out there.”