UCONN
SMU

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McMurray scores 25, SMU pulls away to beat UConn 77-59

DALLAS (AP) Jahmal McMurray, the smallest Mustang, lifted his SMU teammates out of a slump on Thursday night.

McMurray scored a game-high 25 points, including three straight layups in a 12-2 run late in the first half, and SMU went on to beat UConn 77-59.

''I'd definitely give (McMurray) an A,'' teammate Jimmy Whitt said. ''He can get other guys involved with assists and rebounds. He can do all aspects of the game.''

The game was tied at 24 before the Mustangs regained the lead with 3-pointers by Nat Dixon and Isiaha Mike before McMurray began slicing through the UConn defense to build SMU's lead to 36-26 with 2:24 remaining in the half.

McMurray, 6-foot senior, shot 10 for 14 from the field for the Mustangs (13-12, 5-8 American Athletic Conference). He had 15 points in the second half. Ethan Chargois and Mike scored 14 each, and Feron Hunt had 11.

SMU coach Tim Jankovich noted McMurray's efficiency with the ball.

''What we're asking him to do is to try plays for others. The only way you do that is to drive the ball. Not only was he getting in the paint, he was getting all the way to the basket.''

Mike added eight rebounds and three blocks. Chargois also had eight rebounds.

SMU ended a five-game losing streak.

''We lost three games on our last possession,'' Jankovich said, ''but you get nothing for that.''

Tyler Polley had 19 points for the Huskies (13-13, 4-9), whose losing streak stretched to four games. Christian Vital added 14 points.

''We dishonored the uniform today. We embarrassed ourselves,'' UConn coach Dan Hurley said. ''There wasn't an aspect of the game that we did a good job with besides maybe offensive rebounding the multitude of misses.''

The Mustangs evened the season series against the Huskies with the win. Connecticut defeated SMU 76-64 on Jan. 10.

SMU scored the game's first seven points and increased the lead to nine at 14-5.

The Huskies battled back to take their first lead at 19-18 on a 3-pointer by Polley with 8:31 left in the first half.

UConn was in the game earlier in the half because the visitors made 5 of their first 10 3-point attempts, including two each by Polley and Vital. The visitors missed the final three from 3-point range.

A bigger problem for UConn was the inside game. The Huskies were 4-for-21 on 2-point attempts (19 percent), and SMU outrebounded them 21-15 in the first half.

The Mustangs extended their lead to as many as 19 points, on a 3-pointer by Changois for a 64-45 advantage.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: It's increasingly clear that the Huskies will have to excel, if not win, in the conference tournament to reach the postseason. UConn could help their postseason destiny. They'll play two of the top four teams in the conference - Cincinnati and Temple - but both games would be at home.

SMU: The Mustangs kept alive slim hopes to qualify for postseason play. SMU faces an uphill battle with games remaining against the conference's top three teams - ninth-ranked Houston on the road, Cincinnati and UCF.

HIGH/LOW

SMU shot a season-best 57 percent (28 for 49) from the field and held UConn to a season-low 30 percent (21 for 70). Mustangs coach Tim Jankovich credited a switch to 2-3 zone from the team's customary man-to-man defense.

MUSTANG MASTERY

SMU has a 5-0 record against UConn on the Moody Coliseum court, though a 2013-14 win later was forfeited. Had the Mustangs lost Thursday, they would have had a three-game home losing streak, the longest in their six seasons since the coliseum renovation.

UP NEXT

UConn: With five regular-season games remaining, the Huskies will host Cincinnati on Sunday. ''If we're going to show up like that, it's going to look even worse,'' Hurley said. ''There will be changes.'' The Bearcats are just outside The AP Top 25 with 99 points, 65 behind No. 25 Buffalo. UConn took a narrow 74-72 loss at Cincinnati on Jan. 12.

SMU: The Mustangs will travel to play at Central Florida on Sunday. They lost at home against UCF 71-65 on Feb. 10.

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Key Players
C. Vital
J. Whitt Jr.
35.4 Min. Per Game 35.4
12.8 Pts. Per Game 12.8
4.3 Ast. Per Game 4.3
6.5 Reb. Per Game 6.5
45.6 Field Goal % 49.3
41.3 Three Point % 16.0
77.5 Free Throw % 60.9
  Defensive rebound by Ethan Chargois 30.0
  Alterique Gilbert missed free throw 30.0
  Shooting foul on Ethan Chargois 30.0
+ 2 Alterique Gilbert made layup 30.0
+ 3 Jahmal McMurray made 3-pt. jump shot 37.0
  Defensive rebound by Isiaha Mike 1:01
  Christian Vital missed jump shot 1:03
+ 1 Isiaha Mike made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:09
+ 1 Isiaha Mike made 1st of 2 free throws 1:09
  Personal foul on Christian Vital 1:09
  Traveling violation turnover on Christian Vital 1:13
Team Stats
Points 59 77
Field Goals 21-70 (30.0%) 28-49 (57.1%)
3-Pointers 10-27 (37.0%) 8-15 (53.3%)
Free Throws 7-13 (53.8%) 13-15 (86.7%)
Total Rebounds 33 39
Offensive 18 5
Defensive 15 33
Team 0 1
Assists 13 16
Steals 8 6
Blocks 2 8
Turnovers 9 16
Fouls 12 13
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST
25 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Connecticut 13-13 283159
home team logo SMU 13-12 364177
Team Stats
away team logo Connecticut 13-13 73.8 PPG 39.5 RPG 12.8 APG
home team logo SMU 13-12 72.0 PPG 38.8 RPG 13.8 APG
Key Players
12
T. Polley F 8.4 PPG 2.3 RPG 0.6 APG 42.4 FG%
0
J. McMurray G 18.1 PPG 2.3 RPG 2.6 APG 44.9 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Polley F 19 PTS 3 REB 1 AST
J. McMurray G 25 PTS 4 REB 3 AST
30.0 FG% 57.1
37.0 3PT FG% 53.3
53.8 FT% 86.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Polley 19 3 1 6/15 5/9 2/3 0 38 1 0 2 3 0
C. Vital 14 3 3 4/12 4/8 2/2 2 31 2 0 3 2 1
S. Wilson 6 4 0 2/11 0/1 2/4 2 23 1 0 0 3 1
J. Carlton 2 5 0 1/4 0/0 0/0 4 17 2 2 1 3 2
T. Smith 1 3 0 0/4 0/1 1/2 1 21 1 0 1 2 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Polley 19 3 1 6/15 5/9 2/3 0 38 1 0 2 3 0
C. Vital 14 3 3 4/12 4/8 2/2 2 31 2 0 3 2 1
S. Wilson 6 4 0 2/11 0/1 2/4 2 23 1 0 0 3 1
J. Carlton 2 5 0 1/4 0/0 0/0 4 17 2 2 1 3 2
T. Smith 1 3 0 0/4 0/1 1/2 1 21 1 0 1 2 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Gilbert 6 4 3 3/10 0/6 0/1 2 23 1 0 2 1 3
E. Cobb 4 6 4 2/9 0/0 0/1 1 18 0 0 0 2 4
I. Whaley 4 2 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 2 0
B. Adams 3 3 2 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 25 0 0 0 0 3
J. Adams - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Yakwe - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Diarra - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Aiyegbusi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Brocke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 59 33 13 21/70 10/27 7/13 12 200 8 2 9 18 15
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. McMurray 25 4 3 10/14 3/4 2/2 1 33 2 0 1 0 4
I. Mike 14 8 2 4/6 2/3 4/4 3 36 2 3 3 1 7
E. Chargois 14 8 1 4/9 2/2 4/5 4 29 0 2 4 1 7
F. Hunt 11 6 0 5/6 0/1 1/1 2 22 1 1 2 0 6
J. Whitt Jr. 8 6 5 3/10 0/2 2/3 2 34 0 0 3 1 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. McMurray 25 4 3 10/14 3/4 2/2 1 33 2 0 1 0 4
I. Mike 14 8 2 4/6 2/3 4/4 3 36 2 3 3 1 7
E. Chargois 14 8 1 4/9 2/2 4/5 4 29 0 2 4 1 7
F. Hunt 11 6 0 5/6 0/1 1/1 2 22 1 1 2 0 6
J. Whitt Jr. 8 6 5 3/10 0/2 2/3 2 34 0 0 3 1 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Dixon 3 2 4 1/3 1/3 0/0 0 30 1 0 1 1 1
W. Douglas 2 1 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 8 0 1 0 0 1
J. Young Jr. 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 1 1 1 0
C. White 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 6 0 0 1 0 2
J. Foster - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Youngkin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Pyle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Ray - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Wilfong - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 77 38 16 28/49 8/15 13/15 13 200 6 8 16 5 33