DALLAS (AP) — Nic Moore, Sterling Brown and Markus Kennedy each scored 13 points and No. 17 SMU beat South Florida 72-58 on Saturday night in head coach Larry Brown's first home game of the season.
SMU improved to 13-0 — the best start in school history — and 2-0 in the American Athletic Conference. The Mustangs are one of three unbeaten Division I teams along with No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 24 South Carolina.
Brown missed the Mustangs' first seven games at Moody Coliseum while serving a nine-game NCAA suspension. Associate head coach Tim Jankovich, a Division I head coach for nine seasons before joining Brown at SMU in 2012, coached the Mustangs in Brown's absence.
When the NCAA ruled in September that SMU was guilty of rules violations that included academic fraud and unethical conduct, it also barred the Mustangs from postseason play this season.
Ben Moore added 12 points for SMU, which shot a season-low 41.8 percent. The Mustangs went into the game averaging 83.8 points.
Jahmal McMurray led South Florida (3-12, 0-2) with 17 points. Chris Perry and Bo Zeigler added 12 each.
South Florida cut it to 49-46 with 12:55 left in the second half following a driving dunk by Angel Nunez along the left baseline. But the Mustangs ran off the next 13 points to build a 62-46 lead with 4:14 to go and were never seriously threatened again.
The Bulls hit five of their first six field-goal attempts to take a 15-8 lead 6 1/2 minutes in. When the Bulls went cold, SMU appeared to take command by going ahead 29-22 with 4:07 left in the half. But South Florida hit its final five shots and only trailed 33-30 at halftime.
South Florida: The Bulls played their fifth game wthout point guard Roddy Peters, a transfer from Maryland who broke a foot Dec. 13. Peters is expected back in late February.
SMU: SMU's longest winning streak is 20 games, accomplished by the 1955-56 team that reached the national semifinals. ... Guard Keith Frazier, who has started seven games this season, missed the game with what a school official called personal reasons. ... SMU went into the game ranked fourth in Division I in 3-point percentage at 44.9, but hit only 5 of 21 for 23.8 percent.
South Florida: At UCF on Wednesday night.
SMU: Home against Cincinnati on Thursday night.
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