No. 13 SMU rebounds from 1st loss by beating Memphis 80-68
DALLAS (AP) Nic Moore scored 22 points and No. 13 SMU rebounded from its first loss of the season with an 80-68 victory over Memphis on Saturday night.
Freshman guard Shake Milton added 15 points for the Mustangs (19-1, 8-1 AAC), who led for all but 38 seconds back home in Moody Coliseum. They had their first double-digit lead only 8 minutes into the game.
While the Mustangs can win their second consecutive American Athletic Conference regular-season title, that is as far as they can go because of NCAA penalties that include a postseason ban this season. With 10 games left, they are still within reach of breaking the school record of 28 victories.
SMU was the last Division I team to lose this season, falling 89-80 to Temple in a snow-delayed game last Sunday. That ended an 18-game winning streak that was its longest since 20 in a row during the school’s only Final Four season 60 years ago.
While Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown never got caught up in talk about going undefeated, some of his players had openly discussed the goal of winning every game they played. The last team to finish undefeated was Indiana in 1976.
Now the Mustangs are trying to win 29 out of 30 before their season ends on the first Sunday in March, a week before the NCAA Tournament field is revealed.
Ben Moore and Sterling Brown each had 12 points for SMU. Jordan Tolbert grabbed 14 rebounds, and Markus Kennedy had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Shaq Goodwin scored 18 points to lead Memphis (13-8, 4-4), four nights after his career-high 35 points marked the highest-scoring game in the conference this season.
Jeremiah Martin had 11 points, and Ricky Tarrant Jr. and Avery Woodson each scored 10 for Memphis. Dedric Lawson had 13 rebounds.
After building a 39-27 halftime lead, SMU got its first points in the second half on a 3-pointer by Tolbert off an inbounds pass to beat the shot clock. It was only the second 3 this season for the 6-foot-7 Tolbert.
Consecutive 3s by Nic Moore made it 53-32, and the Mustangs had their largest lead after Milton’s alley-oop pass to Tolbert for a dunk with 11:31 left made it 64-39.
Memphis led only after Goodwin’s jumper made it 2-1 with 18:33 to go in the first half. SMU went ahead after two free throws by Sterling Brown with 17:55 left, followed by Nic Moore driving the length of the court and the senior point guard making a few nifty moves before hitting a layup.
A 3-pointer by Tarrant had the Tigers within 10-8 only 6 minutes into the game, but Tolbert made a layup on the ensuing possession to start a 9-0 run for SMU.
Memphis: The Tigers have lost three of four, their worst stretch of the season. ... Memphis leads the series 12-7 despite losing the last three games. ... Goodwin and Tarrant fouled out.
SMU: The Mustangs are 12-0 at home this season, and 46-3 since the start of the 2013-14 season. ... The 14 rebounds by Tolbert were the most he’s had in a conference game, in his first three seasons with Texas Tech in the Big 12 or his senior year at SMU.
Memphis hosts Connecticut on Thursday night.
SMU plays at Houston on Monday night.