Whitt leads Mustangs to 81-53 win over Cornell

SMU wraps up non-conference play with a 81-53 victory over Cornell in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night. At halftime, Jimmy Whitt Jr. had singlehandedly outscored Cornell with his 22 first half points.

Cornell’s Josh Warren opened up scoring, giving the Big Red a 2-0 lead before Whitt matched his points with a jumper for the Mustangs. After Matt Morgan added another two, Whitt responded again, this time with a commanding dunk. Whitt continued to rack up points, recording 12 of SMU’s first 14 points.

Additionally, Jahmal McMurray added 6 points, and Jarrey Foster added another 5 to build the Mustang’s 23-point lead going into the second half.

Both teams struggled to find the basket in the start of the second half. Foster hit four free throws to record the first points of the half. Minutes later, freshman Feron Hunt built momentum for the Mustangs with a dunk followed by a three pointer moments after, boosting the Mustang lead to 56-22.

The Mustangs’ 12-point streak was followed by a series of free throw attempts by Morgan. Morgan recorded 8 points from the free throw line in the second half, and the Cornell senior led the game in scoring with 23 points.

Ethan Chargois recorded his only points of the game late in the second half with consecutive 3-pointers. Whitt’s electric 22-point performance in the first half faded in the second as he could not find success shooting, but the junior from Missouri led the Mustangs in scoring with his career-high performance. Whitt’s performance was followed by McMurray with 14 total points, and Foster and Hunt each added 12.

Overall, Cornell’s 13 total turnovers cost the Big Red in points. The Mustangs capitalized on the turnover opportunities, recording only 6 turnovers themselves, and controlled the ball in rebounding offensively.

Next up, the Mustangs host East Carolina on January 2 to open their American conference play. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.