College Basketball

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Houston (12-13) at SMU (20-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 19, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (8,998) -- Dallas, Texas. Television: ESPNews. Home Record: Houston 9-4, SMU 13-0. Away Record: Houston 2-7, SMU 5-5. Neutral Record: Houston 1-2, SMU 2-1. Conference Record: Houston 4-8, SMU 9-4. Series Record: Houston leads, 46-26.

GAME NOTES: The SMU Mustangs will attempt to remain perfect at home on the season when they take on the Houston Cougars in an American Athletic Conference bout at Moody Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Houston has been trending in the wrong direction fast, losing six of its past seven games to slip to 4-8 in the league and under .500 overall (12-13) for the first time all season. The Cougars are just 2-7 on the road, which includes a 73-62 setback at nationally-ranked Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, SMU has been nothing short of outstanding this season, going 20-6 overall, 9-4 in the AAC and 13-0 on its home floor. The Mustangs had been winners of four straight games prior to their disappointing 71-64 loss at Temple on Sunday, which caused them to fall out of the Top 25.

SMU took care of business against Houston back on Jan. 26, 75-68, but the Cougars still hold a 46-26 lead in the all-time series.

The Cougars put up a valiant fight against the first-place Bearcats over the weekend, as they held a lead as late as 6:41 left in the game, but they were promptly put in their place when Cincinnati closed out the contest on an 18-7 run. They put together an impressive offensive performance against one of the nation's top defenses, shooting 53.3 percent from the field, but they lost both the rebounding (27-21) and turnover (13-4) battles and allowed Cincinnati to shoot 50.9 percent. Danrad Knowles put up a team-high 11 points, while Danuel House, TaShawn Thomas and L.J. Rose all scored 10 points.

On the season, Houston has outshot its opponents from the field, 44.9 percent to 43.8 percent, but it still owns a -1.8 scoring margin by living in the red in terms of its rebounding (-1.3) and turnover (-1.2) production. Its lackluster free-throw percentage (.661) doesn't help matters either. Thomas leads the charge from the paint, shooting 60 percent from the floor en route to 16.0 ppg to go with 8.6 rpg, 2.9 bpg and 1.2 spg. House (12.8 ppg) is the only other player in double figures, although Jherrod Stiggers (9.8 ppg) and Rose (8.2 ppg, 4.1 apg) have also been productive.

In one of their most underwhelming performances of the season, the Mustangs trailed last-place Temple by four at the half and could not overtake the Owls in the second stanza en route to the seven-point loss. They managed to outshoot the Owls from the field, 48 percent to 39.6 percent, but they made just two 3-pointers, lost the rebounding battle (38-25) and shot a dreadful 14-of-28 from the free-throw line. Markus Kennedy was a bright spot with 18 points on 8-of-16 from the field, while Nic Moore and Nick Russell poured in 15 and 10 points, respectively.

SMU has rarely had trouble scoring points this season, as it ranks in the top-10 nationally in field goal percentage (.495) on its way to 72.7 ppg. Its outstanding defense has been just as big a reason for its success, as it yields only 61.5 ppg on a lowly 37 percent shooting. Moore is the team's top scorer with 14.1 ppg, having drained 55 3-pointers at a 45.1 percent clip, and he has nearly twice as many assists (121) as he has turnovers (61). Kennedy has been strong in the paint with 12.0 ppg (on 55 percent from the field) and 7.1 ppg and is an excellent defender with 39 steals and 37 blocks. Russell brings 9.0 ppg to the table but on just 39.2 percent from the floor.

SMU will be extra motivated to get back on the winning track after slipping up over the weekend, and it shouldn't have much of an issue dismissing the inconsistent Cougars on its home floor.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 70, Houston 58

02/19 10:35:59 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR