Nov. 21, 2010
DALLAS - SMU shot a school record 72.3 percent from the field Sunday night as the Mustangs used a strong inside game to pick up a 102-70 victory over Lamar University in the final game of the SMU Basketball Invitational from Moody Coliseum.
The Cardinals fell to 2-2 on the year and will look to rebound on Tuesday night at 7 with a game at former conference rival Texas-Pan American. The Mustangs upped their record to 2-3 on the year behind the play of tournament MVP Papa Dia.
Dia, a 6-foot-9 senior post, led the Mustangs offense with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Dia had 17 points at the half and shot 10-of-13 from the floor, including making his only 3-point attempt of the game.
SMU made 19-of-26 field goal attempts in the first half to open a 54-38 halftime advantage. Lamar shot a respectable 42.9 percent in the first half, especially senior guard Kendrick Harris. Harris made 6-of-10 in the first half for all 15 of his points, including a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"It's disappointing to come in here and win the first game of the tournament and then lose the next two," said LU head coach Steve Roccaforte. "We need to regroup against Pan Am and if we go 2-2, I would still consider this a respectable road trip."
The 72.3 percent shooting bested the previous school record of 69.4 percent set against Savannah State on Dec. 19, 2005. It is also the second highest field goal percentage that Lamar has ever allowed in a game behind an 80.8 mark set by Arkansas State in 1982.
For the second straight game, Lamar allowed 102 points as both Portland State and SMU used their size advantage to score in close. The Mustangs finished the game with 42 points in the paint and scored 100 points for the first time since Dec. 20, 2000.
SMU never lost control of the game in the second half. The closest Lamar got was 17 points at 60-43 with 16:55 to play on a Tremell Adams 3-pointer, but SMU responded with a 7-2 run to push the lead out to 24 points. The Cardinals never got it under 20 points the rest of the way.
Lamar committed 26 personal fouls in the game, leading to 29 Mustang free throws. As deadly as SMU was from the floor, it was even hotter at the foul line, converting 25 of the attempts for an 86.2 percent effort.
In addition to Dia's 28 points, three other Mustang starters scored in double-figures. Robert Nyakundi hit 9-of-11 shots and three from long range to score 23 points. Mike Walker added 11.
Lamar got 13 points from leading score Brandon Davis as the junior transfer connected on three 3-pointers and all four free throw attempts. Orlando Brazier came off the Cardinals' bench to chip in with 12 points in just 12 minutes of playing time.