SMU TOPPLES NO. 2 ARIZONA 66-60

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, November 24th, 2017

Southern Methodist guard Jarrey Foster (10) puts up shot guarded by Arizona center Dusan Ristic (14) during the second day of action Nov. 23, 2017 in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Paradise Island, Bahamas. (Bahamas Visual Services Photo/Tim Aylen)

SMU TOPPLES NO. 2 ARIZONA 66-60 TO PRODUCE ANOTHER UPSET IN BAD BOY MOWERS BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS
PARADISE ISLAND, THE BAHAMAS (November 23, 2017) – Some may have predicted that No. 2 Arizona would meet 18th-ranked Purdue in Friday’s final round of the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis. But instead of it being a potential championship game, they will both be seeking their first win in this tournament after SMU upset Arizona 66-60 in Thursday’s second round.
The loss makes Arizona and Purdue a combined 0-4 this week. Meanwhile, SMU advances to play another upstart in Western Kentucky in Friday’s fifth-place game. The Hilltoppers knocked off Purdue earlier on Thursday.
SMU (5-1) held an 11-point lead over Arizona in the second half before the Wildcats (3-2) ripped off 13 unanswered points to take a 53-51 lead with eight minutes to play.
But instead of falling apart, the Mustangs regrouped and played Arizona even for several minutes, then went on a 10-2 run of their own to build 64-57 advantage.
The Mustangs overcame a 31.5 percent shooting night by scoring 19 points off 20 Arizona turnovers, and by outrebounding the Wildcats on the offensive end 20 to 11, leading to 14 second-chance points. SMU guard Ben Emelogu went 5-of-7 from 3-point range and scored a team-best 20 points.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” SMU coach Tim Jankovich said. “I always say that the best wins of the year are when you can’t get your shots to go in the basket and you find a way to win anyway. That’s how great seasons are made.
“Everybody wins when they shoot great and feel great, but we had a really, really rough shooting night. When you do that against a pretty good team, that’s the best win. When you do it against a team like Arizona, it’s an amazing win.”
Arizona guard Allonzo Trier had a game-high 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field, and Bahamas native Deandre Ayton added 17 points and 15 rebounds. But the Wildcats made only 5-of-20 of their 3-point attempts, missing their final six shots from long range.
“(SMU’s) effort level and the way they share the ball, man I tell you what, they are really tough to deal with and they beat us,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “They were the better team tonight, and I thought NC State was the better team last night when they played us as well.”
Friday’s final round will begin with the tournament championship game between No. 5 Villanova and Northern Iowa at noon ET, to be broadcast on ESPN2. That will be followed by Tennessee taking on North Carolina State at 2:30 p.m. in the third-place game, also on ESPN2.
In the evening session, SMU will face Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. ET, and Arizona will play Purdue at 9:30 p.m. Both those games can be viewed on ESPN3.

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