80
TF 10
FINAL
End
2nd
ESPU
Thu Mar. 8
12:00pm
BONUS
73
TF 14
ML: -125
UCONN +1.5, O/U 131.0
ML: +105
SMU
UCONN

No Text

Emelogu, Agau combine for 44 as SMU holds off UConn 80-73

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) It has been a difficult season for Southern Methodist University's basketball team, but the Mustangs managed to prolong it for at least another day after defeating the University of Connecticut 80-73 in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

The Mustangs got 23 points from Ben Emelogu, 21 from Akoy Agau and 19 from Jahmal McMurray, but still needed to make seven of eight free throws in the final 37 seconds to thwart a furious UConn rally.

SMU (17-15) advances to meet top-seeded Cincinnati in today's quarterfinal game.

''Some teams break, we just bent and that's what you have to do in March,'' Agau said after his team saw a 19-point with six minutes to go, slip to just four in the final minute.

''''I've got to give (Connecticut) a lot of credit, they were fighting to the bitter end,'' SMU Coach Tim Jankovich said. ''They started pressing making the game crazy but our guys handled that very well and hit free throws down the stretch.''

Christian Vital led UConn (14-18) with 24 points, 19 in the second half when the Huskies (14-18) used a 20-5 run to cut their 19-point deficit to four. Antwoine Anderson added 19 for UConn and Terry Larrier had 12.

McMurray hit the last of three straight 3-pointers that helped SMU thwart a 10-0 UConn burst early in the second half that had cut the 19-point halftime deficit to just nine with 16:38 left in the game.

After UConn trimmed the gap to 12, Agau had a dunk, a layup and two free throws to put SMU up 68-49 with six minutes to go.

UConn still wasn't done. The Huskies full-court pressure created enough turnovers to give them one last chance when Vital hit a 3-pointer to make it 73-69 with 41.6 seconds to go.

However, SMU made seven of eight free throws in the final 37 seconds to seal the win.

''This season hasn't gone the way we wanted so this is our last opportunity to make a push for March Madness,'' Emelogu said.

BIG PICTURE:

SMU: The Mustangs got a taste of high-pressure defense from UConn in the second half and they'll need to handle it a little better today against No. 1 seed Cincinnati. The Bearcats were second in the country in points allowed and field goal percentage defense. SMU will need another stellar shooting performance from McMurray and Emelogu to keep up with Bearcats.

UConn: An up-and-down season ended on a down note for the Huskies, who never really got rolling this season. UConn didn't win consecutive games after a three-game win streak in mid-January. They were 4-11 in their last 15 games. Kevin Ollie has lot of rebuilding to do after his second straight losing season.

OLLIE: ''I'LL BE BACK.''

Kevin Ollie is confident he will return as UConn's head coach, despite his second straight losing season. Ollie, who led the Huskies to a NCAA championship his first season at UConn, but followed a 16-17 season in 2016-2017 with a 14-18 mark this year. Asked if he expected to be back next season, Ollie responded ''Yes!'' but didn't elaborate.

Later, he said: ''I'll go through a long evaluation process for myself, my coaching staff and my team. We don't want to be 14-18. That's unacceptable and we have to get better in every category. I'm at the top to evaluate myself and how I can get these guys to player better, how I can get my coaching staff to execute better. We're all in this together.''

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Key Players
S. Milton
1 G
J. Adams
38.1 Min. Per Game 38.1
18.5 Pts. Per Game 18.5
4.7 Ast. Per Game 4.7
4.2 Reb. Per Game 4.2
44.9 Field Goal % 43.0
43.4 Three Point % 32.4
84.7 Free Throw % 79.6
+ 2 Christian Vital made driving layup 7.0
  Defensive rebound by Terry Larrier 13.0
  Ben Emelogu II missed 2nd of 2 free throws 13.0
+ 1 Ben Emelogu II made 1st of 2 free throws 13.0
  Personal foul on Tyler Polley 13.0
  Defensive rebound by William Douglas 15.0
  Jalen Adams missed 3-pt. jump shot 17.0
+ 1 Jimmy Whitt made 2nd of 2 free throws 21.0
+ 1 Jimmy Whitt made 1st of 2 free throws 21.0
  Personal foul on Tyler Polley 21.0
  Defensive rebound by Jimmy Whitt 22.0
Team Stats
Points 80 73
Field Goals 26-57 (45.6%) 28-60 (46.7%)
3-Pointers 10-27 (37.0%) 4-16 (25.0%)
Free Throws 18-23 (78.3%) 13-19 (68.4%)
Total Rebounds 29 37
Offensive 9 14
Defensive 18 21
Team 2 2
Assists 12 11
Steals 7 6
Blocks 2 4
Turnovers 10 14
Fouls 13 22
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST
24 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo SMU 17-15 423880
home team logo Connecticut 14-18 235073
Team Stats
away team logo SMU 17-15 75.1 PPG 38.2 RPG 15.0 APG
home team logo Connecticut 14-18 84.1 PPG 44.6 RPG 14.7 APG
Key Players
00
B. Emelogu II G PPG RPG APG FG%
1
C. Vital G 11.3 PPG 4.9 RPG 2.1 APG 42.7 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Emelogu II G 23 PTS 8 REB 1 AST
C. Vital G 24 PTS 6 REB 4 AST
45.6 FG% 46.7
37.0 3PT FG% 25.0
78.3 FT% 68.4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
B. Emelogu II 39 23 8 1 2 0 4 2 6/10 4/8 7/8 2 6
A. Agau 24 21 3 3 0 1 2 2 7/8 0/0 7/8 3 0
J. McMurray 37 19 2 3 3 0 1 0 8/14 3/7 0/0 1 1
E. Landrum 33 7 3 0 1 0 1 5 3/9 1/5 0/1 0 3
J. Whitt 36 6 6 3 1 0 0 1 1/7 1/2 3/4 1 5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
B. Emelogu II 39 23 8 1 2 0 4 2 6/10 4/8 7/8 2 6
A. Agau 24 21 3 3 0 1 2 2 7/8 0/0 7/8 3 0
J. McMurray 37 19 2 3 3 0 1 0 8/14 3/7 0/0 1 1
E. Landrum 33 7 3 0 1 0 1 5 3/9 1/5 0/1 0 3
J. Whitt 36 6 6 3 1 0 0 1 1/7 1/2 3/4 1 5
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
E. Chargois 17 3 1 0 0 1 1 3 1/7 1/4 0/0 0 1
W. Douglas 14 1 4 2 0 0 1 0 0/2 0/1 1/2 2 2
J. Foster - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Milton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Pyle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Ray - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Wilfong - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 80 27 12 7 2 10 13 26/57 10/27 18/23 9 18
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Vital 39 24 6 4 2 0 1 4 8/14 2/5 6/7 1 5
A. Anderson 36 19 3 2 2 0 0 2 6/9 2/5 5/7 2 1
T. Larrier 39 12 6 0 2 0 4 1 5/17 0/4 2/3 2 4
J. Adams 40 6 6 5 0 2 5 2 3/11 0/2 0/0 3 3
J. Carlton 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
C. Vital 39 24 6 4 2 0 1 4 8/14 2/5 6/7 1 5
A. Anderson 36 19 3 2 2 0 0 2 6/9 2/5 5/7 2 1
T. Larrier 39 12 6 0 2 0 4 1 5/17 0/4 2/3 2 4
J. Adams 40 6 6 5 0 2 5 2 3/11 0/2 0/0 3 3
J. Carlton 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 0
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Diarra 22 8 8 0 0 1 1 5 4/5 0/0 0/2 4 4
D. Onuorah 8 2 4 0 0 0 1 1 1/2 0/0 0/0 1 3
I. Whaley 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
E. Cobb 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
T. Polley 6 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
K. Williams 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
C. Foxen - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Noyes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Gilbert - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Aiyegbusi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 73 35 11 6 4 14 22 28/60 4/16 13/19 14 21