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UConn Falls to No. 24 SMU, 80-54

March 3, 2016

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DALLAS (AP) - Sterling Gibbs had 20 points for UConn (20-10, 10-7), which lost for the third time in four games. Daniel Hamilton had 12 points.

Hamilton's 3-pointer with 8:13 left in the first half tied the game at 16-all, but UConn had only one more field goal while SMU finished the half on a 22-4 run.

''We have to get back to playing tough, playing aggressive, sharing the ball, not turning the ball over,'' UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. ''We didn't play solid tonight. ... I'm not even going to mention the (NCAA) tournament to them. I'm going to mention this moment.''

Moore and Kennedy both had to sit out 2012-13 after transferring. Moore came from Illinois State with Jankovich, and Kennedy arrived from Villanova.

SMU hadn't been ranked in 29 years before breaking into the Top 25 in February 2014, late in Moore and Kennedy's first season. While left out of the NCAA Tournament that season, the Mustangs made it to the NIT championship game.

The Mustangs won the AAC title last season, with Moore the league's player of the year, and then advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993. Their season ended in a loss to UCLA after a questionable goaltending call in their tournament opener.


Tolbert sat out last season after transferring from Texas Tech. The only other senior recognized was David Nelson, a former practice player who was put on the roster the second half of this season and appeared briefly in only four games, including a layup in the final minute Thursday.


Kennedy made a tiebreaking tip-in with 7:46 left, starting the 22-4 run to end the first half. Moore had a layup high off the glass and capped the spurt with a three-point play, making an off-balance shot when stumbling forward after being fouled and adding the free throw.


Just before tip, Moore went to the sideline seats near midcourt to greet two presidents - former U.S. President George W. Bush and R. Gerald Turner, SMU's president. The rest of the Mustangs starters followed him with some handshakes and hugs.


UConn: The Huskies beat SMU 68-62 at home earlier this season, but are 0-4 in the series when the games are in Dallas.

SMU: The Mustangs are 50-4 at home the last three seasons.


UConn hosts UCF on Sunday.

SMU is at Cincinnati on Sunday.