Dallas Colleges: Papa Dia

Free throws give SMU wild CIT win

March, 19, 2011
Papa Dia scored 24 points and sank two free throws with 0.1 seconds on the clock Saturday to give SMU a 63-62 win in the second round of the CIT at Moody Coliseum.

The Mustangs (19-14) advance to play at Northern Iowa in the quarterfinal round Monday.

The wild finish featured four lead changes in the final moments. Jacksonville (20-12) took its first lead of the game, 59-58, on Delwan Graham's layup with 47 seconds left. Jeremiah Samarrippas answered for the Mustangs (19-14) with a driving reverse layup and a free throw with 14 seconds remaining for a 61-59 lead.

Travis Cohn put Jacksonville back ahead, 62-61, on a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. SMU called timeout with 0.8 seconds left. After the timeout, Collin Mangrum found Dia near the basket. Dia was fouled by Graham on the shot to set up the winning free throws.

Dia hit 10-of-13 field goals and led the Mustangs with 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Samarippas had a career-high 16 points and hit 3-of-3 from 3-point range. Mike Walker had nine points and a career-high six assists.

SMU, which had a 26-22 lead at halftime, shot 63.2 percent from the field and held Jacksonville to 35.1 percent. The Mustangs started 13-for-15 from the field and built a 31-10 lead.

SMU's Papa Dia named all-Conference USA

March, 7, 2011
SMU forward Papa Dia, who averaged 18.5 pfoints and 9.0 rebounds, and Southern Miss' Gary Flowers (Dallas Lincoln) were named to the all-Conference USA first team on Monday.

Dia is the first Mustang to earn first-team honors since Quinton Ross in 2002-03.

Tulane's Kendall Simmons, a sophomore guard from Fort Worth Southwest, was a second-team selection. SMU's Robert Nyakundi (Arlington Bowie) was named to the third-team.

SMU snags signature win over Memphis

January, 30, 2010
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.