College Basketball

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SMU (15-4) at Houston (11-8)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 26, 3 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) -- Houston, Texas. Television: ESPNews. Home Record: SMU 10-0, Houston 8-2. Away Record: SMU 3-3, Houston 2-4. Neutral Record: SMU 2-1, Houston 1-2. Conference Record: SMU 4-2, Houston 3-3. Series Record: Houston leads, 46-25.

GAME NOTES: The Houston Cougars limp into a Lone Star State showdown with the SMU Mustangs, as the two American Athletic Conference foes square off on Sunday afternoon at Hofheinz Pavilion.

SMU has much more momentum than Houston entering this bout. The Mustangs have won four straight contests to improve to 15-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play. They have split their six true road tests this season, but will have another chance to improve in that area on Tuesday at South Florida.

Houston was run out of the gym by Memphis on Thursday, falling in an 82-59 final to the nationally-ranked Tigers. The Cougars have lost three of their last four games, falling to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in conference. They are a solid 8-2 on their home floor, but they visit Connecticut and Rutgers in their next two tilts.

These in-state foes bring their rivalry over from Conference USA, where they met 16 times after SMU joined the league in 2005. The Cougars have won the last three meetings, and lead the all-time series by a count of 46-25.

Markus Kennedy logged a double-double consisting of 18 points and 10 rebounds, to go with four blocks to lead SMU to a 70-55 win over Rutgers last time out. The Mustangs forced 18 turnovers in the contest, and held the Scarlet Knights to just 32.7 percent shooting.

Under Larry Brown's tutelage, SMU has transformed into one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Mustangs rank 13th nationally in scoring defense (59.9 ppg) and second in opponents field goal percentage (.357). On the other side, they do not score at an overwhelming pace (71.8 ppg), but they lead the AAC in field goal percentage (.489). Nic Moore (12.6 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Kennedy (11.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) are the only players on the roster averaging in double figures. Moore finished with only eight points on 2-of-7 shooting against Rutgers, but he did tally five assists.

The Cougars allowed Memphis to shoot 58.9 percent from the floor, while turning the ball over 18 times on Thursday. Houston also sank only 42.6 percent of its own field goal tries, including a dismal 2-of-12 showing from 3-point range.

Houston is not as defensively dominant as SMU, but it is still a solid squad at that end of the floor. The Cougars are letting up 58.8 ppg on 42.4 percent shooting to their opponents. TaShawn Thomas (16.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg) is a powerful force down low, ranking in the top five in the AAC in scoring and rebounding. He finished with a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds against Memphis, but he made good on only 2-of-6 shots from the free-throw line. Danuel House (12.9 ppg) and Jherrod Stiggers (10.4 ppg) are also averaging in double figures, although each is shooting below 40 percent from the field.

Due to their ability to slow teams defensively, the Mustangs are a squad that travels fairly well. Expect them to key in on Thomas and force the Cougars to rely on shots from outside the paint, en route to a solid victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 66, Houston 61

01/26 10:34:19 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
Final
PHI 0
ATL 1
Final
NYY 2
CHC 0
Final
DET 2
CLE 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 6
Final
TEX 3
SEA 2
Final
CWS 4
BOS 6
Final
HOU 4
KAN 6
8:10pm Wednesday
MIN 0
TOR 0
Final
ANA 5
OAK 4
Final
SDP 4
COL 2
Final
SFG 2
LOS 1
1:05pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
TOR
 
2:05pm Today
TEX
SEA
 
3:45pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
6:40pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
Final
MIL 103
ATL 111
Final
CLE 114
BRK 85
Final
MEM 106
DAL 105
Final
OKC 112
DET 111
Final
NOP 105
HOU 100
Final
SAN 100
LAL 113
Final
MIA 87
PHI 100
Final
NYK 95
TOR 92
Final
MIN 130
UTA 136
Final
BOS 102
WAS 118
Final
DEN 112
GSW 116
Final
POR 110
LAC 104
Final
SAC 99
PHO 104
Final
TAM 4
MON 5
Final
PIT 4
CLB 3
Final
ANA 4
DAL 3
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR