Sports: Papa Dia leads SMU Basketball to higher levels

Matt Doherty

Sports: Papa Dia leads SMU Basketball to higher levels

SMU captain Adam StillDia’s game rewards Mustangs: Despite an unfortunate streak-snapping 67-57 loss to rival UTEP on Saturday, Feb. 12, the fact remains the same: This year’s surprising men’s basketball team is in a deadlock battle for the C-USA title. Currently, the Mustangs are tied for fifth in the league (16-9, 7-4 C-USA) with Tulsa (7-4), just one game behind first-place Memphis (8-3). C-USA Player of the Year candidate Papa Dia (fifth in C-USA scoring, third in rebounds, second in blocks) has already won three Player of the Week awards (Nov. 15-21, Jan. 10-16, Jan. 17-23) is a strong component to the team’s recent success. Dia, Head Coach Matt Doherty and the Mustangs face the Golden Hurricane in a crucial league tie-breaker at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 in Moody Coliseum. Tune in to KAAM 770 AM or visit SMUMustangs.com to keep up with the team.

Still’s the guy: Junior Adam Still (pictured right) was named the captain of the No. 8-ranked men’s soccer team for the 2011 season on Wednesday, Feb. 16. The defender helped lead the Mustangs to a 16-2-2 record and an NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2010. Still was also named to the CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-America Third Team this past season. Still is a two-time Academic All-America District VI Team award recipient and has been named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team. SMU will open the upcoming spring season against MLS championship finalist FC Dallas on Friday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Pizza Hut Park.

Mary AlenbrattGrades and speed: Sophomore Mary Alenbratt (pictured left) and the cross country team received more high honors to add to a stellar season as they received All-Academic Honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, Feb. 16. To qualify for All-Academic honors, a team must have a 3.0 GPA or higher. SMU easily qualified with a cumulative 3.34 GPA. Alenbratt and the SMU track & field team will be back in action at the C-USA Indoor Championships on Feb. 25-26, hosted by the University of Houston.

Football never dies: SMU announced its 2011-12 C-USA football schedule on Thursday, Feb. 10. Important dates include a Sept. 3 season opener at former Southwest Conference rival Texas A&M, and a home opener with rival UTEP on Sept. 10. SMU will have 4 of 5 games away during a tough stretch in October (away opponents include Memphis, TCU, Southern Miss, and Tulsa, but will be back at home (in cooler Boulevarding temperatures) for 3 of 4 games at home in November (Tulane, Navy, and Rice.) The C-USA Championship game this year is set for Dec. 3. Kickoff times and potential date changes will be set later in the year. The full schedule can be found here.

February 18, 2011|Sports|

Sports: Men’s soccer team falls in NCAA quarterfinals; remembering Don Meredith

Arthur IvoGone so soon? After an amazing 16-2-2 season and a final NSCAA National Ranking of No. 7, the Mustang men’s soccer team suffered a short postseason as they lost to UNC in the NCAA quarterfinals on penalty kicks after tying the Tar Heels 1-1 in regulation on Saturday, Dec. 3. Junior midfielder Arthur Ivo (pictured) broke the ice early in the game as he scored within the fifth minute. Goalkeeper Craig Hill made three impeccable saves in regulation but was ultimately unable to prevent four converted penalty kicks in the shootout.

SMU downs Grambling State: After a slow start to the season, Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt Doherty has to be feeling pretty good about his Mustangs, who have won four out of their last five and are now back above .500 at 5-4 this season. SMU added to their win record with a sharp 71-51 victory over Grambling State on Saturday, Dec. 4. Junior forward Robert Nyakundi scored 22 points and senior forward Papa Dia added 20 in the victory. SMU was 14 of 22 from the field (63.6%) and took a 40-23 lead into halftime. The Mustangs get a break for studying, with their next game (at McMurry in Abilene) taking place on Dec. 18.

Don MeredithRemembering a great: Legendary football quarterback, television broadcaster and noted SMU alum Don Meredith (pictured) died of a brain hemorrhage on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was 72. Born April 10, 1938, in Mount Vernon, Texas, Meredith was a two-time All-America selection (1958 and 1959) on the Hilltop, setting a Southwest Conference record with 69.6 completion percentage in 1957. The Chicago Bears then selected Meredith in the third round of the 1960 NFL Draft, but traded him to a young Dallas Cowboys franchise for future draft picks. “Dandy Don” was stellar through his nine-year career with the Cowboys, leading the team to three straight division championships and two NFL Championship games following the 1966 and 1967 seasons. He was inducted into the Cowboys “Ring of Honor” in 1976, and his name can still be found in the renovated Ring at the new Cowboys Stadium. Meredith had a wildly successful second career with Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell as an analyst on ABC’s “Monday Night Football.” He retired in 1984 after broadcasting Super Bowl XIX. Meredith also received the Pro Football Hall of Fame‘s 2007 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Funeral arrangements are pending.

December 7, 2010|Sports|

Sports: Basketball’s back!

Papa DiaMaybe this year?: Head Coach Matt Doherty’s men’s basketball team returns to make another stab at the March Madness brackets this year with a home opener against the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12. Doherty’s team is hoping to make a comeback from a disappointing 14-17 campaign last year (7-9 C-USA) where they failed to make it into the 64-bracket tournament. SMU has six seniors this year with Ryan Harp, Tomasz Kwiatkowski, Myles Luttman, Collin Mangrum, Mike Walker and pre-season All C-USA conference selection forward Papa Dia (pictured) leading the charge. Contact 214-SMU-GAME for more information on tickets.

Seasons of glory: SMU’s women’s basketball team also gets things rolling this weekend as they look to achieve a fourth consecutive year of 20+ wins. (The Lady ‘Stangs went 20-11 last year.) Head Coach Rhonda Rompola‘s team looks to build on their successful run last year, where they entered the C-USA Tournament as a No. 3 seed, finished 10-6 in the conference and earned a bid in the WNIT tournament for the second consecutive season. Forward Delisha Willis returns to the court after missing last year with injuries. Sophomore Alisha Filmore was named as SMU’s starting PG after last season’s starter Brittany Gilliam graduated. SMU hosts Utah at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12 at Moody Coliseum. For tickets, call 214-SMU-GAME.

Matt CeravoloSignings, signings everywhere: The men’s golf team was busy with signings this week for the upcoming seasons. Florida brothers Alec and Matthew Ceravolo and Texas native Sam Fidone were inked for the men’s team on Friday, Nov. 12. Matthew (pictured) has a 2008 Florida State Player of the Year trophy, a 2009 South Florida Player of the Year trophy, and is an AJGA All American. Alec was previously ranked in the top 10 of Florida players, has three top-20 AJGA finishes, and was named first team All-South Florida. Fidone, ranked No. 13 in Texas by Junior Golf Scoreboard, and was the 2010 Texas Junior Golf Tour Player Of The Year. All three have signed National Letters of Intent to play for SMU in 2011-12 under head coach Jay Loar.

No football this week as SMU takes a bye to prepare for their last home game against Marshall. They need to win one more to secure a bowl game for the BCS championship series.

November 12, 2010|Sports|

Hot Links: Spring 2009 football practice begins March 30

SMU basketball player Bamba FallThe football team will kick off spring practice March 30 as the Mustangs begin their preparations for the 2009 season. Head Coach June Jones and his staff will conduct 14 practice sessions prior to the annual Red-Blue Scrimmage, which is set for 1 p.m. April 25. Read more.

The men’s basketball banquet honoring the 2008-09 team will be held at 7 p.m. April 16 in the Doubletree Campbell Center on North Central Expressway. Head coach Matt Doherty, along with graduating senior Bamba Fall (right), will speak about the season and the future of SMU basketball. Read more.

The No. 24 women’s tennis team (20-2) completed a two-match sweep March 25 to collect their 8th and 9th consecutive wins against Arkansas-Little Rock (5-10) and No. 28 DePaul (15-3) at SMU’s Turpin Tennis Stadium. It was the first time in 21 years the Mustangs have achieved a 20-win season. The team returns to action March 27 in the 2009 Via Christi Collegiate Classic in Wichita, Kansas, with their first match set for 10 a.m. against Nevada. Read more.

SMU thrower Simone du ToitFirst-year thrower Simoné du Toit (left) won the shot put and finished 3rd in discus to lead the women’s track and field team in the 2009 Trojan Invitational at USC March 21. Senior Christina Mueller won the discus event with a throw of 50.28 meters. Read more.

The women’s swimming and diving team earned 19th place at the 2009 NCAA Championships March 21 at Texas A&M. The Mustangs collected points in the 200 medley relay, 400 and 800 free relays and the platform diving event. The men’s championship takes place March 26-28 at Texas A&M. Read more.

The SMU Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Lettermen’s Association, announced the newest class of its Athletics Hall of Fame March 25. The 2009 inductees – running back Eric Dickerson (’83), basketball player Jim Krebs (’57), swimmer Steve Lundquist (’83) and golfer Kyle O’Brien Stevens (’80) – will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Read more.

March 26, 2009|Sports|

Hot Links: Eight soccer players earn All-Conference honors

SMU's Paulo da SilvaThe 3rd season of “Inside College Hoops with Matt Doherty” debuts Nov. 24, 2008 on KAAM 770 AM, live from Ten Sports Grill, 1302 Main St. in downtown Dallas. Listen online and submit questions for Coach Doh or call in at 972-445-0770 or 877-272-5226. Read more.

The men’s soccer team fell to South Carolina 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the 2008 Conference USA tournament Nov. 12. The NCAA announces the field for its postseason tournament Nov. 17. Read more.

Meanwhile, 8 Mustang soccer players have earned All-Conference honors. On the men’s team, sophomore defender/midfielder Leone Cruz, junior forward Paulo da Silva (right), senior midfielder Jeff Harwell and sophomore midfielder Kekoa Osorio were named 2nd-team All-Conference. Midfielder Diogo de Almeida and forward Arthur Ivo were named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team. Read more.

On the women’s team, junior defender Kim Peabody was named first-team All-Conference, and first-year forward Logan May was selected to the league’s All-Freshman team. Read more.

SMU's Silje Fjortoft and Rachael ForishFresh from winning its first Conference USA title, the cross country team heads to Waco Nov. 15 for the 2008 NCAA South Central Regionals. Running for the 19th-ranked Mustangs will be the 2006 and 2007 South Central Regional Female Athletes of the Year, senior Rachael Forish and sophomore Silje Fjortoft. Fjortoft also owns the 2008 C-USA individual title after clocking the fastest 5K time in conference history, 16:46. (Left, Fjortoft and Forish.) Read more.

Senior Petra Klosova received her 6th career Conference USA Swimmer of the Week honor Nov. 11. The SMU Olympian was recognized for her performance at the 2008 Mean Green Duals Nov. 8, in which the SMU women’s swimming and diving team beat Colorado State, New Mexico State and North Texas. Read more.

November 13, 2008|Sports|
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