Jackson State beats SMU 59-58

Turnovers, poor free throw shooting and bad defense from the Mustangs help Jackson State get only its second win of the season.

The inaugural Dallas Classic didn't quite go the way SMU intended.

Jackson State beat the Mustangs 59-58 at Ellis Davis Fieldhouse in South Dallas Thursday night. Kelsey Howard scored 27 points and hit five 3-pointers in the win.

"It's just one of those games," SMU head coach Matt Doherty said. "Sometimes you're not sharp and we weren't sharp tonight."

Robert Nyakundi led the Mustangs with 15 points and Cotton Giles added 13. Texas transfer Shawn Williams, who was making his SMU debut after not being eligible to play for a year per NCAA rules, had 12 points, four rebounds and two steals.

"Shawn did very well," Doherty said. "He was in there 25 minutes. We have a lot of confidence in Shawn. He's a good team player, he talks, he's smart, he makes hustle plays, he's a good player and he helped us a lot tonight."

Overall, the Mustangs (5-4) were rusty, playing their first game since Dec. 4 due to final exams.

Down one with 24 seconds left, SMU point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas turned the ball over. Jackson State made two free throws to take a three-point lead. The Mustangs tried to get looks in the dwindling seconds, but both Nyakundi and Samarrippas missed their shots.

The Tigers hit another free throw with less than five seconds left to go up by four and Nyakundi made a trey as time expired, but it didn't matter.

Jackson State (2-9) shot 50 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from beyond the arc.

"Our defense was not very good," Doherty said. "I didn't like the way we guarded the ball."

SMU had 15 turnovers to 15 assists and only went 5 of 13 from the foul line.

"They make you play funky with their matchup zone, but there's no excuse," Doherty said.

The Dallas Classic was an event created as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen SMU's relationship with Dallas ISD and the city.

Ellis Davis Fieldhouse is a 7,500-seat arena and the announced attendance was just 1,925.

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