SMU forward Jordan Tolbert (23) dunks against TCU during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins
December 02, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Nic Moore showed no ill effects of a broken pinkie that sidelined him three days earlier for No. 22 SMU.

Moore scored 26 points, including 19 in the second half, and the unbeaten Mustangs beat TCU 75-70 Wednesday night.

Moore, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season, made it 70-all with a 3-pointer that began an 8-0 SMU run to end the game. He hit four of his team's final five field goals and scored nine of the last 12 points for the Mustangs (5-0).

All of that came after a brace fell off Moore's right pinkie, which he broke in the season opener on Nov. 14. He has practiced little in the last two weeks.

''It was feeling pretty good,'' Moore said of the finger, ''so I told the trainer to leave it off.''

''It was one of the great, courageous, late-game performances I've seen in a while,'' said SMU associate coach Tim Jankovich, who's coaching the team while Larry Brown serves a nine-game NCAA suspension. ''If he's going to play like that, I would never practice him.''

Jankovich was head coach at Illinois State when Moore was a freshman there in 2011-12. When Brown was hired by SMU in 2012, Jankovich became his right-hand man and Moore transferred to the Dallas school at the same time.

Sterling Brown made a tiebreaking scoop shot with 1:37 left. Markus Kennedy added 15 points for SMU.

Vladimir Brodziansky led the Horned Frogs (3-3) with 18 points. Malique Trent had 13 points and Chauncey Collins scored 12, all on 3-pointers.

The Frogs took a 22-10 lead eight minutes in, boosted by a 15-1 run built on 5-for-8 shooting on 3s. That represented SMU's largest deficit of the season.

''They were hitting 30-footers with hands in their faces,'' Kennedy said.

SMU closed the half by outscoring TCU 30-15 to take a 40-37 lead. The Frogs missed six straight 3-point tries after taking their early lead. They finished 9-for-27 on 23-pointers.

Moore's contributions down the stretch came with SMU's big men in foul trouble. That's when Moore told his teammates it was ''winning time.''

''When it starts getting close, I know I need my opportunities more,'' he said. ''They were doing a great job looking for me.''

TCU coach Trent Johnson said he's encouraged that all three of the Frogs' losses have come against quality opponents, the others coming against South Dakota State and Rhode Island.

''We've just got to clean some things up, and we'll be fine,'' Johnson said.

FOUR-MAN WEAVE?

Keith Frazier came up with an SMU steal during the first half and raced down court. Realizing his path to the basket was blocked, he threw cross-court for Jarrey Foster but overthrew him. The ball instead went to teammate Ben Moore, who drove to the basket but missed his shot. But Jordan Tolbert was there to convert the rebound.

BRAGGING RIGHTS

SMU has won four straight over TCU, located about 40 miles away, and leads the all-time series 105-85. They have met in non-conference play during 14 of the last 16 years after being in the same league for 78 years - the first 73 in the old Southwest Conference followed by five in the Western Athletic Conference.

TIP-INS

TCU: Brodziansky hit two 3-pointers after sinking only one in the Frogs' previous five games on six attempts. . Collins was 4 of 10 on 3-pointers and 0 of 1 on both 2-pointers and free throws.

SMU: Ben Moore returned to play after sitting out one game for an unspecified violation of team rules. . The Mustangs led in second-chance points 24-11.

UP NEXT

TCU is home vs. Colgate on Saturday night.

SMU is home vs. New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon.

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