SMU holds on against Texas A&M

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — Nic Moore paced SMU with 16 points as the Mustangs clipped Texas A&M in a tight, back-and-forth affair, 55-52, in the consolation game of Corpus Christi Challenge.

Aggies guard J-Mychal Reese had a 3-point attempt to tie the game and send it to overtime, but the runner clanged off the backboard and fell harmlessly. Reese finished with 11 points, while Davonte Fitzgerald led A&M with 12.

SMU (6-2) got 14 points and six boards from Yanick Moreira, while Nick Russell was good on all four of his free throw attempts, including a pair that gave the Mustangs a three-point lead with 3.3 seconds remaining.

The Aggies (6-2) built a four-point halftime lead, as Fitzgerald and Kourtney Robinson combined for half of their 30 points.

SMU took the lead back for the final time with 26 seconds left on a Moore free throw. Russell then iced it with his pair.

The Mustangs shot 40 percent from the floor, including 4 of 11 from beyond the arc. They were only 57.9 percent from the line, but made six straight at the end of the game when it counted most.

A&M had a rough night shooting, hitting just 34.7 percent and 3 of 10 from 3-point land.

After a very tight first half, SMU came out flying to start the second. Moreira made a pair of layups and Moore hit a 3 to wrest the lead from the Aggies. Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy couldn’t wait for the television timeout and called his own at 16:32 to try to stem the tide.

Reese picked it up after the timeout for A&M, scoring eight points — mostly from the line — and the score was tied at 45 at 6:49.

SMU had an extended possession, pulling down two offensive rebounds, but Russell’s floater wouldn’t go, and Jordan Green charged back the other way and drew a foul as he slashed to the bucket. He hit one of his free throws to tie it back up at 51 with 1:48 left.

After holding the ball to kill some clock, Reese drove the lane and was fouled by Russell. Reese only made one of his free throws to give A&M a 1-point lead.

On the ensuing possession, Antwan Space fouled Moore, who hit both of his free throws to push the Mustangs up by one with 26 seconds left.

A scramble resulted in a held ball, but A&M had the arrow and retained possession at 11.3. After the inbounds play, Kennedy called a time out to set his offense again at 9.7. He ran a play for Reese, who drove to the bucket but his contested shot slipped out and Russell pulled down the rebound and was fouled.

Russell went to the other end and made both resulting free throws to give SMU a 3-point lead with 3.3.

Reese’s last-second running 3-point attempt didn’t draw iron, allowing the Mustangs to walk out of Corpus Christi as the third place team in the tourney.