Men’s Basketball season finishes with first round loss to UAB Blazers, 53-52
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 17, 2013 19:03
When Nick Russell’s shot was blocked with two seconds to go, Larry Brown’s first season on the Hilltop came to an end with a 53-52 loss to UAB in the Conference USA Tournament.
SMU (15-17, 5-11 in C-USA) held UAB to 17-48 shooting from the field, but UAB was able to make a layup with nine seconds remaining and stop Russell’s attempt at a game-winner to advance in the C-USA tournament and end SMU’s season.
Freshman Brian Bernardi made two free throws for the Mustangs with 29.2 seconds left to give the Mustangs a one point lead before Jordan Swing’s game winning layup.
SMU got a double-double from Jalen Jones to lead the Mustangs to a near upset of the seventh-seeded UAB. Jones had a rough couple of games at the end of the regular season, but responded in the tournament with 13 points, 10 rebounds and overall a great game with an assist, a steal and two blocks.
UAB was led by Swing with 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals, but most importantly he made the game winning layup to lift the Blazers past the Mustangs.
Rod Rucker also had 11 points for the Blazers. Swing almost made half of the Blazers baskets, who only made 17 on the day, but made 6 of 17 from three point range.
The Mustangs did an incredible job all season of holding opponents to low shooting percentages. This season marked the first time since 1961-62 that the Mustangs held opponents to below 40 percent shooting for a season.
SMU also did a great job of forcing turnovers, with 17, but also did well taking advantage of them, scoring 19 points off turnovers.
The loss ends the Mustangs season, but next season the Mustangs have three transfers who will be eligible including big man Markus Kennedy and also three signees including the number one JUCO player in the country, Yanick Moreira.
The Mustangs are also still hot on the trail for five star guard Keith Frazier, who visited SMU a while back and is also looking at other Texas schools.