PONIES SCRAMBLE PAST UH

by Dan M | Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

SMU Logo

BY:  Dic Humphrey

UNIVERISITY PARK, Texas – SMU’s winning streak went to 18 games Tuesday night with a scrambling 77-73 win over the Houston Cougars.  Nic Moore led all scorers with 23 points, and Markus Kennedy came off the SMU bench to score 14, including 12 in the second half, to overcome a scrappy Cougar team that was ready to play on this night.  The Mustangs are ranked eighth in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, and the win over Houston keeps SMU as the lone remaining division I team that is undefeated.  SMU also leads the American Athletic Conference with a 7-0 record.  Houston lost its third game in a row to fall to 13-5 and 3-3.

 

“We had a chance to win this game.  We led it for 26 minutes.” UH Head Coach Kelvin Sampson said, “You can’t go 8-16 (shooting free throws) on the road.  You can’t make some of the mindless turnovers we had.”

 

The Cougars seemingly owned the first half.  They dominated the boards, leading at one point 17 rebounds to four for SMU.  Houston grabbed 13 offensive rebounds on 18 missed shots.  SMU’s led early by two points three times early, before the Cougars got going.  UH led by as many as eight points three times, but the Mustangs amazingly scored the final eight points of the half to take a 34-34 tie to the halftime locker room.

 

Sampson said after the game that his team did not play smart basketball in those last three minutes.  “You’ve got to think a little bit in this game.”

 

The Cougars scored the first basket in the second half and ran their lead to as many as five points, as SMU did not reclaim the lead for more than nine minutes.  After SMU took a one point lead, the Cougars answered with a basket and never trailed again until the 5:35 mark when the Mustangs took the lead for good at 58-57.  SMU pushed the lead to as many as five points before the final buzzer.

 

“I thought the second half, we did a much better job defensively,” SMU Head Coach Larry Brown said.  “They’re really hard to guard.   They’ve got some quickness.  They can spread the floor out.  Their bigs really kind of hurt us.  They isolated our bigs and got us into some foul trouble.  But we just made some plays down the stretch.  Nic (Moore) was great on both ends.  Sterling (Brown) came up some unbelievable plays.  Markus (Kennedy) had a second half like he’s capable of playing.  The biggest thing is I think we matched their energy in the second half.”

 

The big difference in the scoring came from the free throw line.  SMU made more free throws (24) than Houston shot (16), and the Cougars made just 50% of their attempts.

 

SMU again had four players score in double digits.  Nic Moore’s 23 led all scorers in the game.  Kennedy was next with 16, followed by 15 from Sterling Brown and 10 from Ben Moore.  Kennedy completed a double-double, his third this season and 10th in his career, with 10 rebounds.

 

Damyean Dotson led the Cougars with 16 points, which included a pair of three point shots.  Danrad Knowles with 14 and Galen Robinson, Jr. with 11 points were the other double digit scorers for UH.  Knowles was also the Cougars’ leading rebounder with eight.

 

“I told them after the game ‘be disappointed in the loss, but don’t be disappointed in the effort tonight’.  We’re getting better,” Sampson said.  “I’m proud of my team.”

 

As for the season that now has 12 games remaining for SMU, Brown said, “At halftime Nic was talking to our team saying, ‘hey, let’s enjoy this.’  Now is the time to just have fun and play hard for our seniors.  We’re going to take everybody’s best shot.”

 

The Mustangs travel to Philadelphia this weekend to face the Temple Owls Saturday night at 8:00 PM (Eastern)/7:00 PM (Central).  The Owls are 9-7 overall and 4-2 in conference play.  They have beaten highly regarded Cincinnati twice and Connecticut, so they are definitely a threat to hang the first loss of the season on SMU.  The game will be televised on ESPNU.

 

AND ALSO:

 

  • SEEN AT THE GAME:  Harry Froling, brother of Alicia and Keely Froling who are members of the SMU Women’s basketball team.  The Frolings are from Australia, and Harry, who is 6’-10”, is regarded as the top post player in Australia’s class of 2016.  Also, NFL players Tony Romo and Jason Whitten (Cowboys) and former Mustang footballer Margus Hunt (Bengals), as well as current NBA player Chandler Parsons (Mavericks) and former Maverick Eduardo Najera, who played for Kelvin Sampson at Oklahoma.

 

BY:  Dic Humphrey

UNIVERISITY PARK, Texas – SMU’s winning streak went to 18 games Tuesday night with a scrambling 77-73 win over the Houston Cougars.  Nic Moore led all scorers with 23 points, and Markus Kennedy came off the SMU bench to score 14, including 12 in the second half, to overcome a scrappy Cougar team that was ready to play on this night.  The Mustangs are ranked eighth in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, and the win over Houston keeps SMU as the lone remaining division I team that is undefeated.  SMU also leads the American Athletic Conference with a 7-0 record.  Houston lost its third game in a row to fall to 13-5 and 3-3.

“We had a chance to win this game.  We led it for 26 minutes.” UH Head Coach Kelvin Sampson said, “You can’t go 8-16 (shooting free throws) on the road.  You can’t make some of the mindless turnovers we had.”

The Cougars seemingly owned the first half.  They dominated the boards, leading at one point 17 rebounds to four for SMU.  Houston grabbed 13 offensive rebounds on 18 missed shots.  SMU’s led early by two points three times early, before the Cougars got going.  UH led by as many as eight points three times, but the Mustangs amazingly scored the final eight points of the half to take a 34-34 tie to the halftime locker room.

Sampson said after the game that his team did not play smart basketball in those last three minutes.  “You’ve got to think a little bit in this game.”

The Cougars scored the first basket in the second half and ran their lead to as many as five points, as SMU did not reclaim the lead for more than nine minutes.  After SMU took a one point lead, the Cougars answered with a basket and never trailed again until the 5:35 mark when the Mustangs took the lead for good at 58-57.  SMU pushed the lead to as many as five points before the final buzzer.

“I thought the second half, we did a much better job defensively,” SMU Head Coach Larry Brown said.  “They’re really hard to guard.   They’ve got some quickness.  They can spread the floor out.  Their bigs really kind of hurt us.  They isolated our bigs and got us into some foul trouble.  But we just made some plays down the stretch.  Nic (Moore) was great on both ends.  Sterling (Brown) came up some unbelievable plays.  Markus (Kennedy) had a second half like he’s capable of playing.  The biggest thing is I think we matched their energy in the second half.”

The big difference in the scoring came from the free throw line.  SMU made more free throws (24) than Houston shot (16), and the Cougars made just 50% of their attempts.

SMU again had four players score in double digits.  Nic Moore’s 23 led all scorers in the game.  Kennedy was next with 16, followed by 15 from Sterling Brown and 10 from Ben Moore.  Kennedy completed a double-double, his third this season and 10th in his career, with 10 rebounds.

Damyean Dotson led the Cougars with 16 points, which included a pair of three point shots.  Danrad Knowles with 14 and Galen Robinson, Jr. with 11 points were the other double digit scorers for UH.  Knowles was also the Cougars’ leading rebounder with eight.

“I told them after the game ‘be disappointed in the loss, but don’t be disappointed in the effort tonight’.  We’re getting better,” Sampson said.  “I’m proud of my team.”

As for the season that now has 12 games remaining for SMU, Brown said, “At halftime Nic was talking to our team saying, ‘hey, let’s enjoy this.’  Now is the time to just have fun and play hard for our seniors.  We’re going to take everybody’s best shot.”

The Mustangs travel to Philadelphia this weekend to face the Temple Owls Saturday night at 8:00 PM (Eastern)/7:00 PM (Central).  The Owls are 9-7 overall and 4-2 in conference play.  They have beaten highly regarded Cincinnati twice and Connecticut, so they are definitely a threat to hang the first loss of the season on SMU.  The game will be televised on ESPNU.

AND ALSO:

  • SEEN AT THE GAME:  Harry Froling, brother of Alicia and Keely Froling who are members of the SMU Women’s basketball team.  The Frolings are from Australia, and Harry, who is 6’-10”, is regarded as the top post player in Australia’s class of 2016.  Also, NFL players Tony Romo and Jason Whitten (Cowboys) and former Mustang footballer Margus Hunt (Bengals), as well as current NBA player Chandler Parsons (Mavericks) and former Maverick Eduardo Najera, who played for Kelvin Sampson at Oklahoma.
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