Trivia question: Which team scored more against SMU: Rutgers’ football team or its basketball team?

Football, of course. By one point.

Defense continues to win games on the Hilltop. The Mustangs held Rutgers to 16 points below its season average in a 70-56 victory on Tuesday night at Moody Coliseum.

Afterward, SMU players weren’t boasting about the points they scored, but rather, about the points they did not allow.

“It’s the same every game,” post Markus Kennedy said. “The leading scorer on every team, we try to lock up.”

The Mustangs remain undefeated at home. They are 4-0 at renovated Moody, which rocked with a crowd of 6,042 (capacity 7,000).

Forget their struggles from outside. Never mind that the Mustangs seem more likely to score 3-point plays with a put-back and foul shot than from behind the arc.

They are poised to ride defense to the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years.

SMU improved to 15-4 overall and 4-2 in the American Athletic Conference. The Scarlet Knights dropped to 8-11, 2-4.

The Knights fell behind early, rattled at having so little space to work with when they had possession.

“They contested shots at the rim, they contested shots from the perimeter,” Rutgers assistant coach David Cox said. “They have length everywhere. They just keep coming at you. That’s a very good, very talented, very well-coached team that will be playing in the NCAA Tournament I’m sure.”

In addition to shutting teams down, defense has compensated for the Mustangs’ outside shooting woes.

The Mustangs are holding opponents to 35.9 percent shooting, which ranks first in the American and second nationally.

“We’ve been offensively challenged a lot this season,” SMU coach Larry Brown said. “Our defense carried us. The value of guarding great every night, defending is great.”

SMU sent waves of players at Rutgers from the start. The Mustangs got 32 points off the bench to Rutgers’ 11.

The Knights shot 32.7 percent, including 25.9 in the first half.

“Last year we didn’t have any depth,” Brown said. “This year we feel confident with whoever is out there doing the things needed to win. You’ve got to have guys to defend the rim, especially with the way the games are being called.”