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SMU shows toughness in beating Temple again


UNIVERSITY PARK – For the first 25 minutes of game time, nothing was going right for the SMU Mustangs. They turned the ball over. They missed free throws. They allowed easy three pointers to the worst shooting team in the conference. A late-arriving crowd seemed to not be in the game at all either.

And then… everything changed.

It started with something as innocent as Ben Moore becoming the first SMU player to hit both free throws in one trip to the line. Then three turnovers sparked an SMU 7-0 run that got the Moody Coliseum crowd into a frenzy. They forced Devontae Watson and Obi Enechionyia into foul trouble. Ryan Manuel, who had only hit one three pointer all season, hit two big ones. Then Nic Moore, who had been 2-6 shooting with six turnovers in those first 25 minutes, absolutely exploded, scoring 13 of his 18 points in that final 15 minutes.

It all resulted in SMU rallying from down 10 early in the second half to a thrilling 67-58 win over Temple, in which they outscored the Owls 40-21 in the final 15 minutes of the game.

Temple did take the lead back 50-49 on a Jesse Morgan with 4 1/2 minutes to go, but by that time, the Mustangs were on a stampede that could not be stopped. They outscored the Owls 18-8 the rest of the way.

It’s the second time the Mustangs have rallied from a double digit deficit to beat Temple this season.

“For some reason, they just bring out the best in us,” coach Larry Brown said.

There were definitely still emotions flaring after the game, as there was a scuffle near center court as Temple was preparing to leave. Cannen Cunningham said it was instigated by Temple.
“Someone pushed Jean-Michael (Mudiay) in the back, and you don’t push Jean-Michael.”


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