Nic Moore made a 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left and Markus Kennedy had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Mustangs edged the visiting Golden Bears in the NIT quarterfinals. Moore finished with 11 points and Keith Frazier chipped in nine points for top-seeded SMU (26-9), which advanced to face third-seeded Clemson in next week’s Final Four in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Shawn Williams added seven points and six rebounds as the Mustangs improved to 18-1 at home, including 12-1 at Moody Coliseum. Jabari Bird scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half for second-seeded California (21-14), which led 65-64 following Justin Cobbs’ 3-pointer with 15.4 seconds remaining. Cobbs scored 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting and David Kravish collected 12 points and eight rebounds for the Golden Bears, who lost despite shooting 51 percent from the field and 7-of-7 from the foul line. SMU closed the first half on a 17-5 run and led 32-29 at the break before California took its first lead of the second half at 53-50 on Bird’s three-point play with just over eight minutes remaining. Bird made eight of his 13 shots from the field and scored with just over three minutes left to give California a 62-59 advantage. The Mustangs answered with four consecutive points before falling behind on Cobbs’ 3-pointer from the top of the key. SMU came in holding opponents to 37.9 percent shooting, but the Mustangs had trouble slowing down the duo of Cobbs and Bird in the second half before escaping with the win on Moore’s game-winning shot. GAME NOTEBOOK: The sellout crowd included President George W. Bush and Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, along with quarterback Tony Romo. … California senior F Richard Solomon, who led the Pac-12 in rebounding during the regular season with 10.2 per game, missed his third straight game due to a concussion. … Golden Bears G Ricky Kreklow played with a mask covering his broken nose and had two points and two steals.
Southern Methodist 67, California 65
ProSportsDaily | Mar 27