SMU Defeats No. 21 UConn On The Road, 64-55
Feb. 23, 2014
Markus Kennedy added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Mustangs (22-6, 11-4 American), who have won 11 of their last 13 games.
Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier combined to shoot 8 for 28 for Connecticut (21-6, 9-5), but each had 15 points. The Huskies had won four in a row and 10 of 12.
The Mustangs never trailed. They led by two at halftime, but extended that to 10 points midway through the second half.
The Huskies cut the lead to 55-49 on a 3-pointer by Napier, but Sterling Brown answered with a 3-pointer and SMU held on down the stretch.
The Mustang defense held UConn to 16 baskets and just under 30 percent shooting from the floor.
Neither team could find the basket early. The first points came more than four minutes into the game on a layup by Kennedy. The teams were a combined 0 for 7 with eight turnovers before that.
It was 7-0 when before Philip Nolan gave UConn its first points on a layup more than six minutes into the contest.
Kennedy had eight first-half points and the Mustangs. But SMU never led by more than seven and UConn tied the game at 25 with under a minute to play.
SMU took the lead back on a pair of Kennedy free throws, and scored the first two baskets of the second half. The Mustangs extended the lead to 44-34, holding the Huskies without a field goal for eight minutes between Napier's layups.
SMU, which is seeking its first berth to the NCAA Tournament since 1993, also has wins over No. 22 Memphis and No. 7 Cincinnati in conference play. But the Mustangs fell out of the Top 25 after losing last week at Temple.
The Mustangs already have more wins this season than any SMU team since the 1999-00. They improved to 4-4 in league play on the road and are 7-0 at home.
UConn honored its first of its three men's national championship teams at halftime, putting a plaque on its "Wall of Honor" for the 1999 champs. Khalid El-Amin, the point guard on that team, also was honored with an individual plaque.
UConn hit 6 of 21 shots from 3-point range, but now has 194 on the season, three more than the Huskies had all of last year.
It doesn't get much easier for SMU, which faces Central Florida next, but still has games left with No. 11 Louisville and at No. 22 Memphis before the American tournament.
Connecticut also faces two ranked teams in its final three regular-season games, hosting No. 7 Cincinnati next Saturday and closing the season at Louisville.
SMU will now return home for a two-game homestand at Moody Coliseum. The homestang gets underway next Saturday, Mar. 1, when the Mustangs host UCF. The game gets underway at 3:00 p.m. CT and will be aired on ESPNews. The game is sold out.