Milton scores 20 to help No. 15 SMU beat UConn
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Shake Milton had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead No. 15 SMU over UConn 69-61 on Saturday.
The Mustangs (25-4, 15-1 American Athletic Conference) won their 11th straight and haven’t lost since Jan. 12 at Cincinnati. Semi Ojeleye had 16 points, Ben Moore added 15 and Sterling Brown had 11.
The Huskies (14-14, 9-7), who have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak, were led by Kentan Facey’s 15 points. Freshman Christian Vital and Vance Jackson each added 14, while Rodney Purvis had 11.
The Mustangs rode the hot shooting of Milton, who made 6 of 7 from 3-point range, to lead 41-30 at halftime. SMU led by as many as 16 points, with Milton’s fifth 3-pointer giving it a 31-15 lead with 8:04 to play.
Milton scored just two points in the Mustangs’ previous win, a 76-66 decision over Houston on Feb. 18.
SMU shot 50 percent from the field and led by double digits for almost the entire final 13:28 of the half. Vital’s 3-pointer with 34 seconds left made it 39-30, but Moore closed the half with a dunk.
The Mustangs survived some foul trouble in the half, with Ojeleye and Brown sitting for extended periods with two fouls apiece.
UConn shot just 11 for 32 in the half, with the starting backcourt of Purvis and Jalen Adams a combined 3 for 16. Adams missed the final 2:58 of the half with a left ankle sprain and did not return.
Without Adams, UConn tried climbed within 57-52 with 9:20 to play, but the Mustangs answered with a 9-2 run to regain control.
SMU: The Mustangs and No. 15 Cincinnati are vying for the top seed in the AAC Tournament, but it will come down to the wire. The teams split in the regular season.
UConn: The Huskies are looking to lockup a top-five seed in the AAC Tournament, but could be in trouble if Adams is out for an extended period of time. Vital and Purvis are the only healthy guards left.
SMU finishes the regular season at home with Tulsa and Memphis.
UConn closes at East Carolina and Cincinnati.
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