Sports: SMU’s wild season ends with semifinal loss to Santa Clara

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Sports: SMU’s wild season ends with semifinal loss to Santa Clara

Simone Du ToitEnd of the road: The men’s basketball team ended their wild season with an unfortunate, injury-affected loss to Santa Clara at the semifinals of the CIT on Friday, March 25. The Mustangs (20-15), who found a second life after a first-round defeat in the Conference USA Tournament by participating in the relatively unknown CollegeInsider.com Tournament, enjoyed a string of wins against Oral Roberts, Jacksonville and Northern Iowa before losing to the Broncos (23-14) with a final score of 72-55. Senior star Papa Dia suffered an injury resulting from a foul on him with 8:18 left to go in the first half, and did not return for the rest of the game. Robert Nyakundi and Collin Mangrum scored 14 and 13 points respectively, with Nyakundi posting his 3rd double-double of the season. The Mustangs finished their unpredictable season with 20 wins- the first 20-win season since 1999-2000.

Du Toit nabs another award: Junior shot put/discus athlete Simone Du Toit (pictured) nabbed SMU’s second consecutive C-USA Female Track & Field Athlete Of The Week award on Tuesday, March 29. Du Toit, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, picked up a pair of North Texas Spring Classic titles last weekend (March 25-27), recording a discus throw of 55.12 meters and a shot put toss of 16.61 meters. This is Du Toit’s fourth weekly honor of her career, and the first this season. She follows last week’s winner, junior Ayla Gill of Auckland, New Zealand, who recorded a winning toss of 61.70 meters in the hammer throw at the TCU Invitational.

Marta LesniakWeekly Marta Lesniak Dominance Segment: As is becoming usual in the SMU Sports community, junior tennis player Marta Lesniak (pictured) received yet another award this week with a performance strong enough to earn her the C-USA Tennis Athlete of the Week award. Lesniak (No.9 national rank) went 4-0 against nationally-ranked squads from No. 9 Baylor and No. 66 UC Santa Barbara, winning a pair in both singles and doubles competition. Her singles victories were against No.11 Sona Novakova of Baylor (6-4, 4-6, (14-12)) and Natalia Lozano of UCSB (6-2, 6-2). Lesniak also teamed up with junior Aleksandra Malyarchikova for the doubles victories, defeating Baylor with a 9-7 mark and posting an 8-3 mark against UCSB. This is Lesniak’s third award this season and the eighth of her career.

Football still lives: The Mustang football team will kick off a grueling spring training camp on Monday, April 4 to prepare for the upcoming Fall 2011 campaign. Head Coach June Jones is expected to hold 15 practice sessions over 27 days, nearly all of which will be at 7 a.m. Practices will generally be closed to the public, but the final practice of the season is open for anyone to attend and is scheduled for Saturday, April 30.

March 31, 2011|Sports|

SMU’s 2011 Literary Festival arrives March 24-26

pipkinDeGolyer Library‘s newest iteration of the SMU Literary Festival is headed back to campus this week. The three-day event, running Thursday, March 24-Saturday, March 26, will feature eight different authors and poets offering readings and discussions to the campus in DeGolyer’s reading rooms.

The opening events on Thursday, March 24 begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Stanley Marcus Reading Room, with fiction writer Rosalyn Story and poet Matt Hart as the featured scribes for the night. A 30-minute reception will precede the evening’s activities.

Two series of writers will be featured on Friday, March 25, also taking place in the Stanley Marcus Reading Room. Fiction writers John Pipkin (pictured) and Cynthia Phoel will share readings at 3 p.m., and they will be followed by writer Benjamin Percy and poet Rick Barot at 7 p.m. Another half-hour reception will precede the 7 p.m. events.

A noon luncheon will take place on Saturday, March 26, which will include a discussion with the selected authors and poets. In addition, the winners of this year’s undergraduate writing competition will be announced and honored. The luncheon takes place in Heroy Hall, Room 153. This is the only part of the Lit Fest for which an RSVP is required – send yours by calling 214-768-2945 or e-mailing the SMU Lit Fest at Gmail.

devansAfter the luncheon, the Lit Fest’s closing act includes writer Danielle Evans (pictured) and poet C. Dale Young, both of whom will give readings of their work in the Stanley Marcus Reading Room at 2 p.m.

“The SMU Lit Fest has been a great, long running tradition here on campus,” says senior Matthew Anderson, a creative writing major who plans on attending the events. “It doesn’t get as much coverage as it should. The varieties and styles of the writers they bring in make for a great experience, especially if you’re into writing as an art or a craft, or just for fun.”

For more information, visit the DeGolyer Library website or check out this handy WordPress site dedicated to the Lit Fest. (It includes a quick overview of the featured writer’s works, and clicking on their names in this article will lead to their own websites, where bios and samples of their work can be found.)

March 23, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News|

Sports: Dia wins DPOY award, leads Mustangs to C-USA tourney

Papa DiaDia’s big day: SMU senior forward Papa Dia (pictured right) received the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year award on Tuesday, March 8, for his stellar contributions throughout the 2010-11 season. Dia played a key role in earning SMU its highest wins total since 2002-03 (17), its highest C-USA wins total (8) and a No. 7 seed in the C-USA tournament. Dia was also named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team, and is considered a finalist for the C-USA Player of the Year award. This is the second time a Mustang has won the DPOY award – the other was Jon Koncak in 1984-85, when SMU was playing in the Southwest Conference.

All or nothing: The No. 7 men’s basketball team will play No. 10 Rice in the first round of the C-USA tournament at 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 9 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso. The Mustangs (17-13, 8-8 C-USA) are the favorites to defeat the sub-.500 Owls (13-17, 5-11 C-USA) for a shot at No. 2 Tulsa the following day. (The rapid-paced tournament will take place from the 9th to the 12th, so here’s a handy C-USA bracket to keep track of the Mustangs during the week.) If the Mustangs win the tournament, they will receive an automatic bid (and their most likely shot) in the NCAA March Madness bracket, so stay tuned over this weekend.

Robert LambethWomen’s team seeks return to glory: Two years removed from the 2008 C-USA Tournament victory, the women’s basketball team is also headed to El Paso to play host college UTEP in the first round of this year’s tournament. The Mustangs swept the series with the Miners this year, winning both games. The game will be at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9 in the Memorial Gym, so it’ll ultimately be up to Mustang fans to decide which SMU team to support for the first round. The Lady ‘Stangs are 5-3 in the past four years of the tournament.

Men’s tennis embraces the streak: Southern Miss received a surprise on Tuesday, March 9 as the men’s tennis squad obliterated their rival 7-0 to mark a three-game winning streak. With their victory at Turpin Tennis Center, the Mustangs are now 6-5 on the season. Among the highlights was an impressive 6-0, 6-0 victory by sophomore Robert Lambeth (pictured left) over opponent Michael Sims, the only shutout of the day’s events. On Thursday, March 10, SMU will host Abilene Christian and Xavier at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m, respectively. Both games will be played at the Turpin Tennis Center.

March 9, 2011|Sports|

Calendar Highlights: Mar. 7, 2011

Dr. RankinMost important Wednesday of the year: SMU’s Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life will lead the 2011 Ash Wednesday service at noon Wednesday, March 9 in Perkins Chapel. All are welcome to attend.

Rescheduled lecture: As posted in Calendar Highlights before the epic February snowstorms, Dr. Stephen Rankin (pictured) will present a Willson Lecture titled “Seeking a Better Way: SMU as a Leader in Church-Affiliated Higher Education.” The rescheduled lecture will take place at noon Thursday, March 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom. The lecture is free for all to attend; lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. For more information, visit the a Office of the Chaplain’s website.

A concert for the road: Meadow Symphony Orchestra is putting together one more concert this week before Spring Break begins. At 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Meyerson Symphony Center, the MSO will present Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, also known as “The Prague.” Also included will be Austrian composer Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 in its entirety. Tickets are available through both the Meadows box office and the Meyerson itself. Prices are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, call the Meadows box office at 214-768-ARTS (214-SMU-ARTS).

Sun MaskCreate treasure from trash, receive new bike: SMU’s 2011 Art of Recycling Contest is officially open to all participants. For one week, people with a mind towards unusual art can create made up of items that would otherwise end up in the trash can as a reminder of what can be recycled in this world but often isn’t. Among the rules: 75% of the artwork must consist of reused items that would otherwise be regarded as trash; the artwork should not exceed 4 feet by 4 feet; and each entry should include a list of the reused materials and its theme (if applicable), title and artist contact information. The submission deadline is Friday, March 11. All entries and related information should be brought to the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Building. Winners will be notified by March 21, and their artwork will be on display at the RFoC cafeteria at Umphrey Lee. The SMU Sustainability Committee, who is sponsoring the event, will donate one Dahon Folding Bike (valued at $500) to the winner of the contest. For more details about the Art of Recycling Contest, contact Kelly Milazzo, 214-768-0495. (Pictured right: “Big Sun Mask” by Diane Kurzyna, an entry from last year’s contest.)

There will be no Calendar Highlights for the upcoming Spring Break week. Have a safe and fun holiday, wherever you may end up!

March 7, 2011|Calendar Highlights|

New Visions, New Voices: 2011’s new look at Meadows playwrights

playwrightsMeadows Theatre’s New Visions, New Voices spring playwriting festival has undergone a major retooling this year – the Spring 2011 lineup will feature seven plays written by theatre students, as opposed to the usual three.

This year’s features are all written by seniors majoring in playwriting. The plays, which will be performed as staged readings (and directed by a variety of theatre professional ranging from Meadows professors to members of the Kitchen Dog Theater) are as follows:

  • Lilimarlene, written by Meredith Alloway ’11
  • The Rough Beast, written by Joel Heinrich ’11
  • Meltdown, written by Nathaniel French ’11
  • The Happy Place, written by Audrey Gab ’11
  • Tissu, written by Micah Figueroa ’11
  • Ready To Start, written by Jessica Andrewartha ’11
  • How To Be Black, written by Nicholas Cains ’11

The plays will be shown through Friday, March 11, with performances at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. There will be no performances on Monday, March 7. All performances will take place in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Ticket prices are $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

A complete list of plays, casts and performances can be found after the jump.

(Clockwise from top center: playwriting majors Audrey Gab, Nathaniel French, Meredith Alloway, Nicholas Cains, Jessica Andrewartha, Joel Heinrich and Micah Figueroa.)

(more…)

March 2, 2011|Calendar Highlights, News|
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