Saturday, January 30, 2010
SMU snags signature win over Memphis
By Jeff Caplan
UNIVERSITY PARK -- Forward Papa Dia had 23 points and 14 rebounds and guard Derek Williams scored a game-high 25 points, including clutch free throws down the stretch, as SMU scored its signature win in the Matt Doherty era, 70-60, over Memphis.
No, this is no longer John Calipari's Memphis Tigers. There is no Derrick Rose or Tyreke Evans. Still, Memphis came into Moody Arena at 15-5 and 5-1 in Conference USA. SMU improved to .500 at 10-10 and 3-3 in conference and extended its winning streak to four games, tying their best stretch under Doherty back in November and Decmeber of 2007.
For the first time in a long time, the Ponies are feeling pretty good about themselves.
How good? Consider the student section stormed the court and the players hugged and jumped around at center court. Really.
"I have been here three years and I think that is the biggest win since I've been here" Dia said. "I've never had this kind of feeling."
The Ponies trailed 30-25 at halftime with Williams admitting they were playing through some nerves. He then scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half, including 12-of-13 from the free throw line, to lead the charge.