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SMU tops Rutgers 70-56

AP - Sports

DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Markus Kennedy scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Tuesday night to lead SMU to a 70-56 victory over Rutgers.

The win was the fourth straight for SMU (15-4, 4-2 American Athletic Conference), whose record equals last season's total in Larry Brown's first season as coach. SMU's last three wins came in four days because a game canceled in early December due to bad weather had been rescheduled for last Sunday.

Rutgers (8-11, 2-4) was led by J.J. Moore with 15 points and Myles Mack with 13.

The Mustangs entered the game ranked second in field-goal defense at 35.9 percent. The Scarlet Knights missed 15 of their first 16 shots and went more than nine minutes without a field goal during the first half. Rutgers finished shooting 32.7 percent from the field.

Kennedy made his fifth consecutive start following a knee injury to the Mustangs' starting center, Yanick Moreira. Kennedy has averaged 15 points in the five games after averaging 10.2 coming off the bench during the first 14 games of the season.

SMU is 10-0 at home this season with only the most recent four games played at 57-year-old Moody Coliseum, which was reopened this month following a $47 million renovation.

The Mustangs' bench outscored Rutgers' 32-10, led by Ben Moore's 12 points.

The Mustangs went into the game averaging 14.7 free throws per game and made 14 of 18 in the opening half alone.

Tuesday's game matched two head coaches who met on a college court for the first time after squaring off in the NBA. Brown and Rutgers' Eddie Jordan met 19 times as head coaches in pro ball over parts of six seasons, with Brown winning 13 times.

Rutgers' only lead came on Moore's 3-pointer. SMU then built a 15-6 lead before Mack broke the Scarlet Knights' drought with another trey.

SMU extended its advantage to 12 points, 27-15, with 5:46 to play in the half. Rutgers cut the margin to eight with a pair of field goals by Wally Judge before the Mustangs responded and built their lead to 13 in the closing seconds of the half.

The Mustangs extended their advantage to 17 during the second half.

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