Nov. 28, 2012
DALLAS (AP) -- DALLAS (AP) -- SMU keeps finding ways to win under new coach Larry Brown.
Jalen Jones scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, SMU never actually gave up their big halftime lead thanks to a reviewed shot and the Mustangs beat Utah 62-55 Wednesday night to improve to 7-1 for their best start in six years.
"The first half was as good as we've played all year by far," Brown said. "The second thing, we got 6-for-25 (shooting) in the second half and win. Great teams control things they can control, like rebounding and defending, sharing the ball and playing hard."
"You can't control whether the ball goes in the basket," he said. "We shoot 34 percent and win. Hopefully, that's going to be a staple of this program for a long, long time."
SMU took the lead for good by scoring the last 11 points before halftime for a 35-25 lead. The Mustangs made its first six 3-pointers of the game, including three in the 17-3 run that ended the first half and included those last 11 points.
Utah (4-2) appeared to have a tying 3-pointer midway through the second half, but during a timeout less than 10 seconds later -- after Jones was fouled making an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Nick Russell to put SMU back ahead anyway -- officials looked at replays that showed Jarred DuBois' foot was on the line.
"We got a little shaky," Brown said. "But this is a learning process for all of us."
The Mustangs are 4-0 at Moody Coliseum under Brown, the Hall of Fame coach who in the college ranks at Kansas, UCLA and now SMU, is 99-11 in home games.
"I'm sure he's putting it all together. He's a great teacher of the game and it's early on for them," said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, a former NBA coach himself. "To be 7-1 at this point with some of the turnover and different things that are going on, he's doing a heck of a job."
Utah led 25-24 when DuBois hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with just under 5 minutes left in the first half.
The Utes didn't score again before halftime, missing their last seven field goals with three turnovers.
Dubois led Utah with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting with five 3-pointers. Jordan Loveridge had 10 points.
The Mustangs were 12 of 14 from the free-throw line and had a 54-43 lead before Utah finally got its first free throw attempt with 2:02 left in the game. Cedric Martin missed.
DuBois made two free throws with 15 seconds left after Jones, the 6-foot-7 sophomore, was assessed a technical foul for hanging on the rim on a breakaway slam dunk after Manuel had a steal.
"He was great until the last play," Brown said of Jones, referring to the unnecessary technical. "The kid he guarded had a pretty good night though too, if you look at that. But I think he gets better by the minute on both ends." The Utes were coming off three consecutive double-digit victories in a Thanksgiving tournament.
After DuBois' 3-pointer late in the first half, Shawn Williams made a long jumper to put the Mustangs ahead. London Giles then hit his second 3-pointer in the late run and Manuel hit his second from long range. Cannen Cunningham had a steal and a breakaway dunk in the final minute of the half.
Utah was the first Pac-12 team to visit SMU since December 1967, when California played there in a tournament when that league was known as the Pac-8. The Mustangs hadn't played a team from the Pac-10 since losing at No. 3 Stanford on Nov. 18, 1998, and hadn't won against a team from that conference in their last five chances since beating Cal at the Kentucky Invitational in December 1979.
It was the last SMU home game until Dec. 30. The Mustangs, who started 10-1 in 2006-07, play their next five games on the road, including Dec. 18 at Utah.
SMU is back on the hardwood Saturday, Dec. 1 when the Mustangs travel to Hempstead, N.Y. to take on Hofstra. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. CT.