Scenes from the Game
(Photos courtesy of SMU Athletics and SMU Public Affairs)
February 13, 2017
DALLAS (AP) -- Ben Emelogu II acknowledged that SMU players would have been lying if they said Cincinnati wasn't on their minds.
The 25th-ranked Mustangs got a bit of a revenge, and in the process took a slight lead in the American Athletic Conference standings.
Emelogu hit two 3-pointers and made the tiebreaking free throw in the game-deciding 15-0 run for the Mustangs in a 60-51 win Sunday to snap a 15-game winning streak by No. 11 Cincinnati, which had also been responsible for the only loss by SMU in its previous 18 games.
"We've been chasing for a long time, Cincinnati's put a lot of pressure on us," SMU coach Tim Jankovich said. "Finally to get the opportunity to get them back here. ... It does feel good to finally, finally be in this position."
Finishing their first week as a ranked team this season, the Mustangs (22-4, 12-1 American) had their big spurt right after Cincinnati had scored 12 in a row in a 2 1/2-minue span soon after halftime to regain the lead.
The Bearcats (22-3, 11-1) made only three of their last 21 shots after that -- and went without a field goal the final 4:11 of the game.
"Dug the hole, and then from that point on, played the best defense we've played all year," Jankovich said.
After SMU had finished the first half with eight straight points to tie the game, and went ahead on Shake Milton's 3-pointer, Kevin Johnson had a tying 3 to start the big spurt by Cincinnati. Johnson also had a steal for a breakaway two-handed slam before Kyle Washington's basket to give the Bearcats their biggest lead of the game at 40-31.
But SMU got even on 3s by Emelogu, Semi Ojeleye and Milton and went ahead to stay on Emeolgu's free throw with 11:47 left before he added another 3.
"Those momentum plays, I fed off my team, and the big shots went down," Emelogu said. "We went up and we started locking in on defense. We took over the game."
Ojeleye had 18 points to lead SMU while Sterling Brown had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Milton and Emelogu each had 11 points.
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