SLU Lions (2-1) vs. SMU Mustangs (2-1)
Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 7:00 p.m. CT | Dallas, Texas | Moody Colosseum (7,000)
Series history: SMU leads 1-0
Last meeting: SMU 74, SLU 43 (December 18, 1999 – Dallas, Texas)
To concern: ESPN + – John Liddle and Jim Haller
The audio: LionSports.Net
DALLAS, Texas – The University of Southeast Louisiana men’s basketball team is aiming for its third straight victory as they hit the road Thursday night to face the SMU Mustangs at 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum in Dallas.
The Lions (2-1), following a 70-67 season opener loss to Tulane, earned two home wins last week over Southeastern Baptist College and Paul Quinn College, which included several notable records for the history of the program.
On Friday night, Southeastern set an all-time program record with 19 three-pointers in a 128-58 win over Southeastern Baptist. The 70-point win was also the second-largest margin of victory in SLU men’s basketball history (86 – v Dallas Christian – 11/16/2007). The Lions also distributed 30 assists in the victory, which was the first time the program had 30 or more assists in a game since December 30, 1975.
With Sunday’s victory over Paul Quinn, SLU also clinched the 300e career victory for the Lions in the friendly enclosure of the University Center (300-181).
In the first three games of the season, SLU’s shooting numbers have been formidable. The Lions are shooting 45 percent (95-208) from the field, including 36 for 97 (37 percent) from the three-point line. Southeastern also converted on the free throw line shooting 80% (46 for 58) as a team.
“We shot the ball well from the start,” said SLU’s third-year men’s basketball head coach. David Kiefer. “But I think one of our best styles of basketball is when the ball is thrown inside the paint and plays through our big guys. We have several big guys that can not only score the ball, but are also very good and willing passer. We can mix and play different styles. But our best style at the end of the day is to push the ball off the ground offensively and take good shots, play together, connected and hard . “
The Lions’ handling of the ball was also spectacular as they boast an assists-to-turnover ratio of nearly 2: 1 (57 assists, 33 turnovers). Defensively, the Lions are keeping their opponents to just 37 percent (75 for 193) on shots and have forced their counterparts to 49 turnovers on 30 interceptions.
Individually, the Lions presented a balanced attack with five players on average in double digits led by the juniors Gus Okafor. The All-Southland preseason second team is scoring 12.3 points per game and averaging 5.7 rebounds. SLU also has four guys averaging exactly 10.0 points per contest, including Jalyn hinton, Keon Clergeot, Joe kasperzyk and Roger mcfarlane.
“Our depth is probably one of the best things for us,” Kiefer said. “We started the same five guys, but we’ve probably got eight or nine who could start any night and we would feel right at home. But one of the best things about our team is the selflessness and the will to pass. Nobody really cares who gets the credit while we’re earning, which is great to see. “
SMU (2-1), out of the American Athletic Conference, enters Thursday’s game against the Lions after a 95-48 win over the Southland Northwestern State member on Monday night. The Mustangs took a 50-20 halftime lead and headed for victory. SMU pierced 11 three-pointers and passed NSU, 55-24 as pre-season Naismith Trophy Watch Top 50 player Kendric Davis narrowly missed a triple double (19 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds).
The Jersey Mikes Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college basketball with a few notable past winners including Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Christian Laettner, Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson and Luka Garza.
The Lions and Mustangs don’t have much history as Thursday is only the second meeting between the two and the first in 22 years. SMU defeated SLU, 74-43 on November 16, 1999.
Fans can watch Thursday’s game on ESPN + with links to audio, video and stats available on the Southeast Men’s Basketball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.
CLUB / S HARDWOOD CLUB
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the basketball program are encouraged to join the Hardwood Club. Former Lions are encouraged to join the exclusive S club, which is reserved for sports winners from the South East. All membership fees and donations to the Hardwood Club are available for the exclusive use of the Southeast basketball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at [email protected] or (985) 549-5091 or by visiting www.LionUp.com.
For more information on Southeastern Basketball, follow @LionUpMBB and @DavidKieferSLU on Twitter, like / SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
For more information on tickets, please contact the Southeastern Athletics box office at (985) 549-5466 or visit www.LionSports.net/tickets. Southeastern is implementing mobile ticketing as the primary source for obtaining tickets for the 2020-21 season. All tickets will be available via email in PDF format for fans to download to their phones or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded from Apple Wallet.