Mustangs buck Cal Poly

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SMU won its 31st straight game at Moody Coliseum. Photo credit: Shelby Stanfield

Ben Emelogu had 19 points and Shake Milton added 16 points as the SMU Mustangs topped the Cal Poly Mustangs 84-64 in a battle of equine foes Tuesday night at Moody Coliseum.

SMU came out hot in the first half, rushing out to a 40-26 halftime lead. Ben Emelogu picked up right where he left off on Monday night, hitting all three of his shots, including three 3-point shots to finish with 10 first-half points. He would not miss a shot all game long, finishing six of six, and making all five of his 3s.

“Normally a guy doesn’t stay hot for three days,” SMU head coach Tim Jankovich said. “The goal he’s shooting at is just bigger than most people’s.”

SMU was able to shut down Cal Poly’s offensive attack—the likes of which SMU had yet to see this season. Cal Poly continuously let the shot clock wind down on nearly every possession, often settling for shots from three-point range. It made 22 of 59 shots on the night, 12 of which came from behind the arc. Cal Poly shot a total of 38 three pointers on the night.

Jimmy Whitt continued to be efficient in the SMU offense. The sophomore guard is 41-56 from the floor over his last six games. He and Emelogu were not the only ones who shot well Tuesday night. The Mustangs made 15 of 28 shots from behind the arc – a season high.

“We just play unselfishly and get what we want,” Jarrey Foster said.

Big man Akoy Agau, who had been hampered by a knee infection for most of the early part of the season, played a season high 14 minutes, recording five points and three rebounds. Jankovich thought it was a good sign.

“It felt good to be out there with my teammates and contribute,” Akoy said. “I was definitely very excited.”

One night after his Mustang debut, Jahmal McMurray picked up right where he left off, scoring 13 points on four of eight shooting. Three of those made baskets were from three-point range. With two games under his belt, McMurray is starting to gel with his teammates.

It was SMU’s second game in two nights. While NBA teams often play back-to-backs, they are relatively rare in college basketball. Such serieses can wear down players, and cause them to be a step slow. Still, Jankovich thought his team responded well to the challenge.

“I felt like we really played hard and competed,” Jankovich said. “Maybe we weren’t as quick but I thought we played well.”

SMU enters conference play with a 10-3 record. The Mustangs face Central Florida on at 8 p.m. on Dec. 27 at Moody Coliseum. The game will air on ESPN2.

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