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UConn Falls to No. 17 SMU, 69-61

Feb. 25, 2017

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Hartford, Conn. (AP) Shake Milton scored 18 of his game-high 20 points in the first half to lead the 17th-ranked Mustangs to a 69-61 victory over UConn on Saturday.

The Mustangs (25-4, 15-1 American Athletic Conference) won their 11th straight and haven't lost since Jan. 12 at Cincinnati. Semi Ojeleye had 16 points, Ben Moore added 15 and Sterling Brown had 11 as four of the seven players finished in double figures.

The Mustangs rode the hot shooting of Milton, who made 6 of 7 from 3-point range, to lead 41-30 at halftime. SMU led by as many as 16 points, with Milton's fifth 3-pointer giving it a 31-15 lead with 8:04 to play.

The Huskies (14-14, 9-7), who have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak, were led by Kentan Facey's 15 points. Freshman Christian Vital and Vance Jackson each added 14, while Rodney Purvis had 11.

''The first half they really had us on our heels with Shake Milton hitting all the 3s,'' UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. ''But I thought our guys did a great job in the second half and got the game down to five.''

In addition to trailing by double digits before halftime, the Huskies also lost point guard Jalen Adams to a sprained left ankle with just under 3 minutes left in the half. Adams did not return and remains day-to-day.

Without Adams, UConn pulled within 57-52 with 9:20 to play on Purvis' 3-pointer. Purvis had a rough night shooting at 4 of 18, but he hit two 3-pointers and Vital added two more as the Huskies mounted a comeback.

Jankovich called a timeout to settle his team down, and it worked. SMU responded with a 9-2 run to lead 66-54 with 4:30 left.

''They are a good team and you have to expect them to make a run,'' Ojeleye said. ''We are playing on the road, so it's tough. But you just have to stay the course, rely on your defense and take good shots.''

The Mustangs shot 45.1 percent (23 for 51) from the field, including 13 for 26 in the first half. UConn hit 39.7 percent overall (23 for 58).

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies are looking to lockup a top-five seed in the AAC Tournament.

TIP-INS

UConn won the rebound battle 37-36. .. SMU is 7-2 against the Huskies in the series since both joined the AAC, and has won three straight. . Amida Brimah had one point with 11 rebounds and four blocks for UConn. . Former SMU coach Larry Brown was in attendance.

UP NEXT

UConn closes at East Carolina and Cincinnati.


 

 

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