The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Markus Kennedy helps SMU fend off USF

Markus Kennedy helps SMU fend off USF

For the first 10 minutes after SMU’s win at South Florida, Mustang fans had flashbacks to last season’s loss to the lowly Bulls. The game flashed the SMU fans back to a résumé-damaging loss to a last-place team.

But those flashbacks extinguished quickly when Markus Kennedy arose and sparked his team with his career day.

Through the first 9:33 of the game, SMU had nine points, five turnovers and trailed the Bulls by three. Then, Kennedy made the first eight consecutive field goals, and SMU never looked back. Kennedy scored a career-high and game-high 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and even flashed a little range by making three jump shots.

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Kennedy wasn’t the only big man to dominate. Yanick Moreira grabbed his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The duo’s effort helped SMU win its seventh game in a row and move to 17-4 (8-1 in conference).

Meanwhile, USF dropped to 7-14 and 1-7 in the conference. But Brown voiced his respect for USF’s coach and program.

“I know how good this program is going to be,” SMU head coach Larry Brown said. “[USF coach] Orlando [Antigua] deserves this opportunity. This is, to me, a sleeping giant. He’ll get it done.”

Of course, that’s not to say that USF didn’t give SMU a fight, even without second-leading scorer Chris Perry, who is dealing with a heath issue. Guards Corey Allen Jr. and Nehemias Morillo scored 18 points apiece and combined to shoot 7-of-12 from three-point range. Fifteen of Allen’s points came in the second half, which kept the Bulls just close enough to keep SMU fans on alert.

“They did a remarkable job, based on getting the news about Chris,” Brown said. “I have a lot of admiration for the way they played. Last year, this game, we didn’t act like a team that I would have a lot of respect for. We wouldn’t have won this game last year.”

SMU returns home to take on Central Florida on Jan. 31. The game tips off at 7:00 p.m. and can be viewed on ESPNU.

Player of the game:

Markus Kennedy’s career-high 22 points earned him player of the game honors. Kennedy hit his first eight shots, including a long two-point jumper at the end of the first half. He shot 10-for-12 overall, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out two assists.

For the season, Kennedy is averaging 11.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and shooting 63 percent from the floor. He is SMU’s best threat off the bench as he continues to work back into shape following his academic ineligibility that cost him the season’s first ten games.

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