SMU throttles McNeese as Brown gets 199th collegiate win

GARLAND, Texas (AP) — SMU's Nic Moore hit

all five of his 3-point attempts in the first half and missed only one


attempt as the Mustangs opened a 37-point lead in an 88-59 victory

over McNeese State on Monday night. And that was the last

thing about Moore's game that SMU coach Larry Brown wanted to

discuss afterward.

"I couldn't care less about a guy making

open shots," said Brown, the Hall of Fame coach in his second season at

SMU. "He

guarded. And by guarding, he gave us an opportunity to make some

easy baskets. Pushed it better. I'd have been happy if he'd

gone 0-for-5."

Moore, a sophomore playing his first season for SMU (7-2) after transferring from Illinois State, didn't shoot again in the

second half and scored a team-high 15 points.

The visiting Cowboys (2-6) were led by Ledrick Eackles, son of former NBA veteran Ledell Eackles, with 21 points.

SMU hit 10 3-pointers, one short of its

season high, in 14 tries - and oddly nearly equaled those numbers at the


line: 10 of 13. Brown cited McNeese State's 2-3 zone defense as

the reason his Mustangs fired away more than usual, especially

during the first half.

McNeese State, which came in averaging 23 3-point attempts per game, went 10 for 34 behind the arc and hit 20 of 61 field-goal

attempts to shoot 32.8 percent.

Moore opened the scoring with a 3-pointer as

SMU burst from the gate to a 15-5 lead. He added three more during a

15-0 Mustangs

run that left the hosts with a 30-7 lead with 8:21 to play before

halftime. SMU continued to connect from both long distance

and close range to take a 52-17 lead at intermission. McNeese fell

behind by as many as 37 points but changed defenses in

the second half and outscored SMU 42-36.

The Mustangs out-rebounded the Cowboys 42-25 and outscored them in the paint 34-14. The inside-outcome combination allowed

SMU to shoot 59.6 percent.

"They're very difficult to get anything inside on because of their length," McNeese State coach Dave Simmons said. "But we

didn't quit. We fought back. That was the biggest thing."

The wide margin of SMU's advantage enabled

Mustangs freshman reserve Ben Moore to draw guffaws from the bench when

he went

to initially report in with about six minutes to play in the half

to discover he'd forgotten to put on his game jersey. He

subsequently earned a cheer from the crowd when he emerged from

the dressing room minutes later and raced back to the scorer's


That was a first for Brown.

"I had one guy who forgot his britches," he said. "A lot of guys in the NBA figure they're not getting in so they don't want

to shower."

The victory was Brown's 199th in nine seasons as a collegiate head coach to go with 1,198 in the NBA, 429 in the old ABA and

29 for USA Basketball. He'll aim at No. 200 on Wednesday night when the Mustangs play at Illinois-Chicago.

The game was the fifth of nine consecutive played on either road or neutral courts for the Cowboys.