SMU will be looking for a split in a rare two-games-in-three-days, back-to-back series with Memphis when the two teams square off on Thursday in a crucial American Athletic Conference dustup in Dallas.
The teams played Tuesday in Memphis, with the Tigers outlasting the Mustangs 76-72 in a game that was postponed from Jan. 14 because of COVID-19 protocols.
Thursday's game is just the third for SMU (8-3, 4-3 AAC) since Jan. 11 because of COVID-19 and player availability. The Mustangs will once again be without coach Tim Jankovich, who tested positive last week.
The Tigers' win on Tuesday came after they overcame a 13-point first-half deficit with the help of 14 points from reserve Alex Lomax. D.J. Jeffries and Landers Nolley II added 12 points each for Memphis (9-5, 5-2) while Moussa Cisse racked up a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Memphis closed the first half on a 17-2 run and held the Mustangs scoreless for the final 2:03 before halftime. With the game tied at 52, the final 12 minutes featured six ties and four lead changes.
The Tigers have won three straight games and are now alone in second place in the AAC, one loss behind first-place Houston.
"We knew it was gonna be a tough game from the beginning, and this is the third game in a row that we've kind of started off slow with the starters," Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said after the win over SMU. "The bench came in and just uplifted us."
"We're going to shore some things up, go back to the drawing board on some things and then be ready to play on Thursday," Hardaway added. "I'm proud of the team for fighting hard getting back into the game and then winning."
Tyson Jolly, who was playing in just his second game this season, led SMU with 15 points in the loss. Emmanuel Bandoumel and Feron Hunt scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Mustangs.
SMU thought it tied the game late on a Kendric Davis 3-pointer but after video review, the basket was waved off for not beating the shot clock. The Mustangs couldn't make the plays after that call to get them over the top and dropped their first true road game of the season.
"It happened so fast, the shot went up, and obviously we wish for a different outcome," said SMU assistant coach Yaphett King, who was a co-head coach for Tuesday's game. "All in all, we had our opportunities, we had our chances. We have to live with the result."
--Field Level Media