The Bearcats headed down to Dallas, Texas to play #15 SMU Mustangs for an AAC game and another chance to beat a top 25 team. For those who couldn’t attend or don’t live in Dallas the game was aired on ESPN.
The first half started off great for the Bearcats as they were able to show that they belonged on the same floor as the team they beat twice last year and are pegged the league favorite. The Bearcats started off with a quick 4-0 run, throughout the half both teams traded leads, but it was UC that took the 32-30 lead into halftime. During the first half there was a sequence with 7:11 left where Nic Moore, Quadri Moore, Coreontae DeBerry and Jordan Tolbert all got into a little tussle. DeBerry and Tolbert were ejected and Sterling Brown was ejected because he walked on the court during the sequence.
The Bearcats held the Mustangs to 20 shots in the first half, also outrebounded them 17-13 and won the turnover battle 7-9. The leading scorer at the half for the Bearcats was Troy Caupain with 9 points.
In the second half it seemed as if the Bearcats were going to upset the undefeated Mustangs on their home court, but after being up 55-48 with 4:10 left in the game the boys from Clifton allowed SMU to steal one at home. Ben Moore made a shot and Nic Moore made two big three’s to put SMU up 1 point. Octavius Ellis made a big play to score his first points of the game while he was fouled, but after putting UC up 1 with 53 seconds left he tipped in a rebound that Tolbert will get credit for to go up 1. After Caupain missed a jumper, they had to foul Ben Moore and he split the two free throws putting SMU up 2 points with 8 seconds left. They drew up a play for Cobb, but he didn’t get a good look from three as Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy followed him to the three point line and the Bearcats loss 59-57.
The Moore connection killed UC at the end finishing with 29 of the 59 points. N. Moore had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. B. Moore had 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocks.
Farad Cobb continued to be a SMU killer with 18 points, 4 steals and 2 assists. Cobb made 6 of 11 threes and if they would’ve won would’ve been the hero. Gary Clark had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals.
The team now moves to 11-5 overall and 1-2 in the AAC.
They play at USF on Sunday at noon on ESPNU.