Feb. 23, 2014
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STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut guards Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) and Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) scored 15 points each, but were held to shooting just 8 for 28 from the field as No. 21 Connecticut fell to SMU 65-55 Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 10,167 at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies drop to 21-6 overall and 9-5 in conference play with the loss.
Nick Russell and Nic Moore each scored 15 points to lead SMU to victory.
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.
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 sophomore forward Phillip Nolan (Milwaukee, Wis.) 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.
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.
The Huskies face two ranked teams in their final three regular-season games, hosting No. 7 Cincinnati next Saturday and closing the season at No. 11 Louisville. They are back in action Wednesday when they face South Florida on the road in Tampa. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on CBS Sports Network and heard on the UConn IMG Radio Network.