FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011
JU faces SMU for a spot in the CIT quarterfinals
Upon receiving an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, the JU men’s basketball team knew it would quickly have to develop a “road warrior” mentality.
The Dolphins (20-11) will be using that mentality again when they face SMU (18-14) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the second round of the CIT. The game will be broadcast live on 1010XL, with Joel Lamp calling the action from Moody Coliseum.
“We know that SMU is a well coached team and is very disciplined,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “Our guys understand what they have to do to be successful and we’ve reinforced that in practice leading up to the game.”
Both teams enter the second round matchup with overtime victories in the first round.
JU rallied to force overtime and took over from there in a 71-66 victory over East Carolina. Travis Cohn, who had scored in double figures just once in the previous five games, led the Dolphins with 18 points. Another key ingredient in the Dolphins victory was the play of the bench, contributing 29 points to the cause.
The win gave the Dolphins their second straight 20-win season, the first time that JU reached that plateau in consecutive seasons since 1974. It also marked the first time in program history that the Dolphins had won a postseason game in consecutive seasons.
SMU survived Oral Robert’s upset bid with a 64-57 victory. The Mustangs got 17 points and 15 rebounds from Papa Dia off the bench, who led SMU to 30 points in the paint.
The win gave the Mustangs their first postseason win since 1988 and their highest win total since 2001. SMU has thrived at Moody Coliseum, racking up a 14-6 record – with only UC-Riverside, Ole Miss, Houston, Tulsa and UTEP topping the Mustangs at home.