Jan. 4, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) - Akil Simpson scored 12 points, becoming the 21st Mustang to reach the 1,000 career point plateau in the opener for the newly-renovated Moody Coliseum, but the USF Bulls pulled out the league win, 76-62, on Saturday afternoon.
Keena Mays added 26 points on 9-of-19 shooting with eight rebounds and four steals, while Simpson also collected nine rebounds in the loss. Simpson hit the 1,000 point mark with a floater in the lane at the 6:01 mark of the first half.
USF (7-7, 2-1 The American) held SMU (10-4, 1-2) to just 32.8 percent shooting for the game, while converting 44.6 percent of their own attempts. The Bulls also took advantage of frequent trips to the charity stripe, making 22 free throws in the game.
After trailing by double-digits for much of the beginning of the second half, Mays led a charge back into the game, topping off the Mustangs' run with a three-point play after a driving layup at the 12:00 mark of the second half, bringing the deficit to just four at 47-43. The Bulls answered with a 9-0 run over the next 3:12 to open the lead back to 13.
The Mustangs trailed 33-27 at halftime after only converting 37 percent of their shots in the period. Simpson had 10 points and six rebounds at the break, while Mays spent a good portion of the half on the bench after a pair of early fouls.
The $47 million renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum, which originally opened in December of 1956, includes a new main entry lobby, raised ceilings, club seats, loge boxes, private suites, new locker rooms and more.