Matt Visinsky

Rapid Reaction: SMU at Memphis

SMU won back-to-back games for the first time in 37 days when it beat Memphis 69-62 Thursday night in FedEx Forum.

How it Happened

Both teams played largely sloppy first halves, but SMU took a 31-30 lead into halftime despite a 4-for-16 start from the field and an early five-point hole. SMU had a six-point lead at one point in the first half, helped by nine Memphis turnovers in the first half. The Mustangs also finished the first half with a 10-for-16 mark from the floor, mos of it after Nic Moore came back in after picking up two early fouls. Moore didn't score his first points until 12:14 left in the game, but his first basket was a three-pointer that tied the game at 47. Shake Milton missed two free throws with 2:21 left with SMU leading 63-61 and missed an open three with 1:51, but Nic Moore's floater with 42 seconds to go gave SMU a 65-62 lead. Neither team had a second-half lead greater than four points until Sterling Brown made a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to go.

What it Means

SMU is now tied with Temple for first place in the American Conference standings at 11-4. It was just the second road win since Jan. 17 for SMU. Even with Nic Moore going scoreless for the first 27:46 of the game, SMU didn't lose composure or allow Memphis to build a big lead despite its early offensive struggles. Luckily for SMU, its free throw woes didn't hurt at the end of the game, especially because Memphis had the same free throw struggles. The teams combined to shoot 54.5 percent (24-for-44) from the foul line.

Player of the game

Markus Kennedy. The senior followed his 19-point, 9-rebound game vs. ECU with 12 points and 8 rebounds on 6-for-10 shooting, demonstrating the consistency he has shown in past seasons but has struggled to find at times this season. Kennedy and Ben Moore were SMU's best sources of first-half offense.

Side Note

SMU shot just 50 percent (11-for-22) from the foul line. The Mustangs shot 71 percent on free throws as a team coming into Thursday's game, but have made only 51.1 percent (22-for-43) in their last three games.

What's Next

SMU returns home to host Tulane at 2 p.m. Sunday. CBS Sports Network will televise.

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