SMU Tops Utah 62-55 For Best Start In 6 Years
DALLAS (AP) – Jalen Jones scored 20 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and SMU beat Utah 62-55 Wednesday night to improve the Mustangs to 7-1 under new coach Larry Brown for their best start in six years.
SMU took the lead for good by scoring the last 11 points before halftime. The Mustangs made its first six 3-pointers of the game, including three in a first half, ending a 17-3 run that included those last 11 points.
Utah (4-2) appeared to have a tying 3-pointer midway through the second half, but during a timeout 10 seconds after that shot, officials looked at replays and ruled that Jarred DuBois’ foot was on the line, making it two points instead.
The Mustangs are 4-0 at Moody Coliseum under Brown, the Hall of Fame coach who in the college ranks at Kansas, UCLA and now SMU, is 99-11 in home games.
Utah led 25-24 when DuBois hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with just under 5 minutes left in the first half.
The Utes didn’t score again before halftime, missing their last seven field goals with three turnovers — all those turnovers by Aaron Dotson, the junior guard making his season debut after being sidelined by a foot injury.
Ryan Manuel added 14 points for SMU, and Shawn Williams had 10.
Dubois led Utah with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting with five 3-pointers. Jordan Loveridge had 10 points.
After DuBois’ 3-pointer, Shawn Williams made a long jumper to put the Mustangs ahead. London Giles then hit his second 3-pointer in the late run and Manuel hit his second from long range. Cannen Cunningham had a steal and a breakaway dunk in the final minute before SMU had a 35-25 halftime lead.
It was the last SMU home game until Dec. 30. The Mustangs, who started 10-1 in 2006-07, play their five games on the road, including Dec. 18 at Utah.
Utah appeared to have tied the game at 39-all on DuBois’ shot with 10:40 left. After Nick Russell’s alley-oop pass to Jones for a dunk, officials looked at the replay and took a point off the board for the Utes, who were coming off three consecutive double-digit victories in a Thanksgiving tournament they hosted.
SMU pushed their lead back to 10, going up 48-38 with 6 minutes left on Jones’ tough second-effort basket between defenders after he grabbed consecutive offensive rebounds.
The Mustangs were 12 of 14 from the free-throw line and had a 54-43 lead when Utah finally got its first free throw attempt with 2:02 left in the game.
The Utes were the first Pac-12 team to visit SMU since December 1967, when California played there in a tournament when that league was known as the Pac-8. The Mustangs hadn’t played a team from the Pac-10 since losing at No. 3 Stanford on Nov. 18, 1998, and hadn’t won against a team from that conference in their last five chances since beating Cal at the Kentucky Invitational in December 1979.
Utah had won all three previous meetings against SMU, all those games coming during the 1996-97 season when the Utes were ranked in the Top 10 all three times.
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