SMU's Markus Kennedy (5) shoots in front of Temple's Obi Enechionyia (0) and Devin Coleman (34) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Jim Cowsert
February 19, 2015

DALLAS (AP) With Moody Coliseum mostly empty because of an early start and SMU trailing Temple in the first half, Ryan Manuel flashed back to the losing seasons from early in his career.

The senior guard played a big role in a rally that was more like today's versions of the Mustangs - after most of the fans had finally shown up.

Nic Moore scored 18 points, Manuel hit two critical 3-pointers and No. 21 SMU rallied from 10 points down in the second half to beat Temple 67-58 Thursday night, snapping the Owls' seven-game winning streak.

Cannen Cunningham started a 7-0 run that snapped a 52-all tie with a basket inside and Moore hit a high-arching layup on a drive. Manuel finished the spurt with his second corner 3 in the last 4 minutes, celebrating in front of his bench while the crowd screamed.

''Me and Cannen were just talking about how it felt like we were playing in the old Moody for a little bit,'' Manuel said of the first half, when the Mustangs never led. ''And the second half, we played one of the most energized halves that we've played since I've been here.''

Will Cummings had 14 points to lead Temple (19-8, 10-4 American Athletic Conference), which was outscored 15-6 down the stretch and shot 35 percent in the second half. Cummings had seven assists at halftime, and none in the second. He also had a career-high seven steals.

''We couldn't go by them like we did in the first half a few times,'' said Temple coach Fran Dunphy, whose team gave up a 13-point lead in the second half of a 60-55 loss to SMU at home last month. ''We needed to get more drives and kicks.''

The conference-leading Mustangs (22-5, 13-2) were down 39-29 in the second half when they got the late-arriving fans going and started the push to their 20th win in 22 games.

Moore hit a jumper and stole the ball from Jesse Morgan near midcourt, feeding Sterling Brown to get the Mustangs within 39-36. After Moore's free throw pulled SMU even, the junior guard ended up with the ball at the 3-point line after a near-turnover deflected off the hands of Temple's Josh Brown. Moore hit the shot for SMU's first lead at 46-43.

Not long after the game-deciding run late, a student section that was half-empty when the game started was chanting ''Moody Madness'' with the outcome settled in the final minute.

''I was a little bit disappointed early that we didn't have a lot of people there,'' Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown said. ''And then all of a sudden the crowd just picked us up.''

Cunningham finished with 10 points, while Ben Moore, Sterling Moore and Markus Kennedy joined Manuel with eight points apiece.

Morgan, who had a long 3-pointer that pulled Temple even late in the second half, finished with nine points. Jaylen Bond was one of three Temple players with eight points, and he had a game-high 11 rebounds.


There was a brief scuffle between the teams on the court after the game, with police officers helping separate them and making sure Temple players got to their locker room before the Mustangs celebrated with their school song. ''It's not what we do and that's not what we should do,'' Dunphy said. ''Game's over. Get off the floor and get ready for the next game.''


Manuel was 1 of 5 from 3-point range for the season before making both his attempts late against Temple. ''In practice, coach Brown gives me the green light,'' he said. ''So he tells me to shoot every time and if I don't, he gets mad. That was going through the back of my head.''

Brown does encourage Manuel and other role players to shoot. But, ''To think that when you come into a game like this and he's going to be the guy that makes two 3s, I didn't draw that stuff up,'' Brown said.


Temple: Cummings had his big game after getting just one point while dealing with a leg injury in the home loss to SMU. ... It was the first loss for Temple since falling by 31 points to Cincinnati on the road Jan. 17.

SMU: Kennedy, Cunningham, Ben Moore and Yanick Moreira had two blocks apiece for the Mustangs. ... SMU was 4 of 7 on 3-pointers in the second half after going 1 for 4 before halftime. And the Mustangs held the Owls to 1-of-10 shooting from 3 after Temple was 5 of 11 before halftime.


Temple: At Tulsa on Sunday.

SMU: At Memphis next Thursday.

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