SMU 57, Illinois St. 55
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)—Devon Pearson’s tip-in at the buzzer gave Southern Methodist a 57-55 victory over Illinois State in Sunday’s opening game of the Colonial Classic.
Florida State played McNeese (La.) State in Sunday’s nightcap of the three-day round robin event.
Illinois State tied the game with 26 seconds left on a Dominitrix Johnson three-pointer, but SMU held the ball for the final shot. Pearson tipped in a Derrick Rogers miss to give coach Matt Doherty a victory in his first game with the Mustangs.
SMU’s Ike Ofoegbu led all scorers with a career high 21 points in the season opener for both schools. He made 12 of 17 free throws while Illinois State attempted only nine free throws in the game.
Bamba Fall, who started in place of senior captain Donatas Rackauskas, added 11 points for the winners, who led 29-23 at halftime. Rackauskas, bothered by a knee injury, did play and had five points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 5:25 left in the game.
Illinois State was led by Johnson’s 15 points and Boo Richardson added 10 points. Both were making their first start for the Redbirds after transferring from junior college.
SMU will play McNeese State in Monday’s second round while Illinois State meets Florida State.