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Moore leads No. 21 SMU over Memphis

Feb 27, 2015 - 5:48 AM Memphis, TN ( - Nic Moore scored 16 points and No. 21 SMU pulled away for a 66-57 win over Memphis on Thursday night to retake sole possession of first place in the American Athletic Conference.

Yanick Moreira and Ryan Manuel added 11 points apiece for the Mustangs (23-5, 14-2 AAC), who have won five in a row and 21 of their last 23 games. They lead Tulsa by a half-game atop the conference standings.

Shaq Goodwin had 17 points and Nick King scored 14 for Memphis (17-11, 9-6), which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

The Tigers played much of the game without guards Markel Crawford and Kedren Johnson. Crawford played only 12 minutes because of a jaw injury and Johnson fouled out with 18:54 remaining in the second half after receiving his fourth personal four and a technical on the same play.

Still, Memphis tied the score with 13 1/2 minutes left after King scored the first six points of a 9-0 surge.

King's three-point play gave the Tigers a 44-43 lead and the teams went back and forth until an 8-2 run punctuated by Moreira's jumper with 7:20 remaining moved SMU in front for good.

The Mustangs led by as much as 11 points down the stretch while Memphis was never within four.

"The first part of the second half we didn't guard great, but I thought we were outstanding down the stretch," said SMU coach Larry Brown.

Tigers coach Josh Pastner said he was proud of how his players competed against the top team in the conference despite being down two guards.

"They battled and fought," he said of his team. "We were down six with about a minute to go and both times Moore hit two big 3s. The defense I felt for the first 32 minutes worked. The last seven minutes we were switching from zone to man, and he got hot on us. That was the difference in the game."

SMU has won seven consecutive road games, the most for the program in conference since the 1955-56 season in the Southwest Conference.

The Mustangs had a 30-28 lead at halftime despite shooting 34.8 percent over the first 20 minutes. They shot 46.9 percent for the game, including 7-of-14 on 3-pointers.

Game Notes

SMU beat Memphis 73-59 on Jan. 8 at home but Memphis leads the all-time series 12-6, including 8-2 as the host ... SMU has two regular season games left, beginning with a road test against Connecticut on Sunday in Hartford ... Memphis hosts Tulsa on Saturday before playing its last two regular season games on the road.