SMU downs tested UNI to stay alive

Showing no fear in the CIT, SMU appears to have their sights set on one thing: winning the CIT championship.

Northern Iowa shocked the world last year when they upset highly-touted Kansas in the NCAA tournament, but a year removed from there dream run in 2010, the Panthers witnessed their season end following a loss to SMU, 57-50.

With their win, all SMU can say is, "Who's next?"

Showing no fear in the CIT, SMU appears to have their sights set on one thing: winning the CIT championship.

Thanks in large part to head coach Matt Doherty and his ability to keep the players focused despite playing in a lackluster tournament, the Mustangs are playing their best basketball of the season.

Specifically, SMU is receiving a strong effort from their All-C-USA big man, Papa Dia.

Dia set a CIT record with 21 rebounds, with 12 of those coming in the first half.

He didn't stop there, mustering up yet another double-double by scoring 17 points (15 in the first half).

Dia did turn the ball over four times, a team-high, but in 38 minutes on the floor, Dia was a force down low that no Northern Iowa player could match up to.

Because of that, the Panthers struggled to find any consistency, especially in the paint; they scored just eight points down low.

SMU received some help in the scoring department from Robert Nyakundi and Colin Mangrum, both finished with 11 points.

Freshman Jeremiah Samarrippas struggled, compiling just one assist, five points and two turnovers in 34 minutes.

Mike Walker, who went 4-4 from the charity stripe, finished with seven points, two assists, two rebounds and one block, playing in his home state.

With 20 wins under their belt, SMU hopes to continue their winning ways in the semi-finals of the CIT later this week against an opponent to be determined.

- Josh Harvey -


Pony Stampede Top Stories