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SMU 73 MEMPHIS 59

Call this Markus Kennedy’s coming out party for the season.

The junior forward, who missed almost the entire non-conference season with academic issues, showed the aggression he had during conference play last season, shaking off early rust and attacking the basket for 21 points as the Mustangs beat the Memphis Tigers once again at Moody, 73-59.

I told them (teammates prior to the game) I was feeling pretty good, and the rust finally fell off,” Kennedy said. “Not being with the guys for so long… they were playing so good without me, that when I come in, I didn’t want to interrupt their chemistry… but my teammates always do a good job of keeping me focused, keeping me sharp and keeping my head up.”

That’s not to say Kennedy wasn’t the only one aggressive at the rim. Four Mustangs finished in double figures, with Yanick Moreira scoring 15 and Ben Moore and Keith Frazier both finishing with 12.

“We knew Memphis really had great bigs,” Moore said, “So we wanted to challenge ourselves to attack them and play defense as hard as we could to stop them.”

Ultimately, Thursday night was a sign that perhaps this SMU team is on the verge of playing like it is capable of: Getting high-percentage shots (52 percent shooting and 40 points in the paint) and being smart with the basketball (17 assists to 11 turnovers) while hounding the position on defense (holding the Tigers to 34 percent shooting in the first half).

“I think now we’re back, and we’re back having fun,” Kennedy said. “We’re having fun with each other, having fun on the court and having fun in practice.”

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