Dallas, TX – 25th-ranked SMU held off a late Brown challenge to hold on for a 77-69 over the Bears Sunday afternoon at Moody Coliseum. Former President George W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush were among the 6,852 in attendance.
Trailing 48-37 at the half, Brown wouldn't allow the much taller SMU team to take over the game, despite being out-rebounded by a 42-27 margin.
The Bears cut the Mustangs lead to seven points with 1:03 remaining on a trey by freshman Corey Daugherty (Barrington, RI).
But that was as close as the Bears got down the stretch as the Mustangs hung on for the win.
"We just played a terrific basketball team," said Brown head coach Mike Martin. "They have size, athleticism and their physical play wore us out down low."
Sophomore Justin Massey (Cooper City, FL) paced the Bears with a season high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
Junior Steven Spieth returned to his hometown of Dallas with over 300 family, friends and well-wishers supporting him. He responded with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Bears' senior captain Cedric Kuakumensah (Worcester, MA) scored 13 points, pulled down a team high seven rebounds and blocked three shots, continuing his march on the all-time Ivy League record for career blocked shots. His 248 career blocks are just four short of the league's all-time record of 252.
Junior guard Keith Frazier led all scorers with 23 points for the Mustangs, while 6-9 senior center Markus Kennedy chipped in with 13 points. Senior forward Jordan Tolbert posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Brown opened a 17-15 lead in the opening four minutes by connecting on 5\five of their first six shots from the field, including five treys.
Both teams shot lights out in the opening eight minutes, with Brown holding a 25-24 lead following a trey by Daugherty.
With the score tied, 31-31, SMU went on a modest 6-0 run before Spieth connected on a trey to cut the Mustangs' lead to 37-34 with 6:26 left in the half.
SMU outscored the Bears 11-3 to end the half and take a 48-37 lead at intermission. The Mustangs shot 57-percent (18-of-32) from the field in the half, while Brown shot 50-percent (13-of-26). SMU also used its decided height advantage to out-rebound the Bears by a 23-18 margin.
Brown returns home to the Pizzitola Sports Center on Wednesday, December 2, for a non-league match-up with Central Connecticut. Tip-off is 7:00 pm.