Jan. 04, 2014
DALLAS - Nic Moore had 20 points and six assists to lead SMU to a 74-65 men's basketball victory over No. 17 Connecticut on Saturday in the Mustangs' first game of the season played on campus in refurbished Moody Coliseum. UConn falls to 11-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Nick Russell added 14 points for SMU in its first conference win as a member of the American Athletic Conference.
Junior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) had 15 points for the Huskies, who lost their second straight in the state of Texas after falling to Houston on New Year's Eve. Senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) and graduate student guard Lasan Kromah (Greenbelt, Md.) had 12 points and junior forward DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) added 11 for UConn.
UConn (11-3, 0-2) headed home following a trip that began with a four-point loss to new AAC-member Houston on New Year's Eve. The good news for coach Kevin Ollie is he recognizes his team's issues - rebounding, pressuring the ball, winning 50-50 balls. The bad news is Ollie is searching for solutions.
"We've got to come together," said Ollie, whose 13-year NBA career included playing for Brown on the 2000-01 Eastern champion Philadelphia 76ers. "We've got to go back to the drawing board, try to beat Harvard (at home on Wednesday). We've got to do something quick."
SMU shot 47.2 percent, including 53.6 percent during the second half when it outscored the Huskies 42-32. The Mustangs outrebounded UConn 37-29.
Boatright scored nine points in the first half but picked up his second and third fouls early in the second half and went to the bench.
Napier, coming off a 27-point performance at Houston, was held to two points and one field goal attempt in the first half.
SMU went ahead 47-41 on a bank shot by Ben Moore with 11:36 left. The Mustangs went on a 6-1 run to go up 63-51 with 4:04 left.
SMU came into the game ranked second nationally in field goal defense (35.7 percent) and held UConn to 36.7 percent shooting well below its season average of 47.2 percent.
SMU rode the momentum of the energized home crowd to a 7-2 lead in the early minutes before UConn used an eight-point run to move ahead 18-13 with 8:18 remaining.