Cobb scored the first nine points of an 11-0 run when the Bearcats (10-3, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) turned a four-point deficit into a 37-30 lead they never relinquished.
SMU (10-4 1-1), which had won eight straight, entered the game averaging 71.5 points a game while Cincinnati was allowing 55. The Mustangs got within three with 28 seconds left but Troy Caupain made four free throws to secure the win.
The Bearcats won their third straight under associate head coach Larry Davis, who will lead the team the rest of the season while Mick Cronin deals with a health issue. Cronin said on Friday he would function as a ''general manager.''