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Friday, January 28, 2022

Men's Basketball

Clutch plays doom Cougars


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Danuel House’s four 3-pointers kept his Cougars in contention against the Mustangs, but the Mustangs’ 50-point-offensive-outburst int the second half proved to be just too much. | Caitlin Hilton/The Daily Cougar

As SMU drained a pair of free throws with just three seconds remaining, the largest home crowd of the season — 4,567 people — began to slowly file out of Hofheinz Pavilion, but a contingent dressed in blue didn’t move from their seats, chanting, “S–M–U.”

Sophomore guard Danuel House led the Cougars in scoring with 22 points, and junior forward TaShawn Thomas had his eighth double double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. However, it wasn’t enough, as the Mustangs were able to make key plays down the stretch for a 75-68 win.

Thomas’ costly turnover, after a missed put-back dunk with 2:27 remaining, negated a chance to bring the Cougars within two. Instead, with a free throw and two converted field goals, including a jumper by sophomore guard Nic Moore as the shot clock expired, the Mustangs were able to pull off their fifth straight win and give the Cougars their fourth loss in five games.

Moore had a game-high 28 points, shooting 11-12 from the free throw line, while sophomore forward Markus Kennedy added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

SMU started off the game with a 7-2 run. The Cougars got their first field goal six minutes into the game and had a 31-25 lead due to the help of redshirt freshman forward Danrad “Chicken” Knowles and House. Knowles went 3-3 from the field with 8 points and 2 rebounds.

SMU coach Larry Brown said his team “can’t expect to get a win if we don’t play great.”

UH had 16 turnovers and the Mustangs capitalized by scoring 16 points. Brown said Houston made his team play out of their comfort zone.

The Cougars allowed only 25 points in the first half, but gave up 50 in the second.

“They came out and punched us in the mouth in the second half, and we didn’t respond the right way,” House said.

Hofheinz Pavilion’s attendance was loud and made it tough at times for SMU, but in the end, it was just not enough.

“We have some great fans. They’re just hungry to support our team, and they want to see us win at home,” Dickey said. “We need to win at home, so that we can continue to grow that. Our crowds have been growing.”

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