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In their 192nd meeting against the Rice Owls (SMU leads series 118-74), the Mustangs, who blew a first half lead, needed overtime to record the victory and improve their record to 17-10 (8-5) on the season.
With 17 wins, SMU has tied the record for most wins in a season since 2002-03 (17-13) and the most league wins since joining Conference USA in 2005-06.
They also improved their record at home, moving to an impressive 13-2 at Moody Coliseum.
The Mustangs finished 32 of 38 from the foul line -- season highs in both categories.
For the sixth time this season, Papa Dia and Robert Nyakundi each scored 20+ points, pushing SMU's record to 5-1 when the two reach that feat.
Dia finished with his 12th double-double this season and 25th overall double-double, compiling 20 points and 13 rebounds. He tied his season-high with six offensive rebounds and has recorded eight or more rebounds in 16 of the past 18 games.
He moved into 6th place on SMU's all-time rebounding list (818), 17th all-time on SMU's scoring list (1,295), and tied for ninth all-time in games played (116).
Nyakundi accounted for a team-high 26 points, along with five boards. This was the 22nd time he reached double digit scoring figures this season, and the second consecutive game he has had with 20+ points.
He improved his 3FG% to .483 (83/172) after going 4-6 from behind-the-arc against Rice.
Colin Mangrum chipped in with seven points and a career-high five assists. He also added five rebounds and a steal. Just as Mangrum did, Mike Walker finished with 10 points, three steals, and three assists.
The scoreboard at the end of the second half read 57-57. But then came overtime, and with it, a surge of energy from the SMU Mustangs, who wound up defeating the Owls by a score of 76-66. Their 19 points in overtime is an all-time high for SMU. Freshman Jeremiah Samarrippas dropped 10 points, added three steals, and three rebounds.
- Josh Harvey -