SMU captures American crown, Mustangs, Cincinnati headed to NCAA Tournament - Mar 13, 2017
No. 12/15 SMU won its second American Athletic Conference tournament title with a 71-56 win over No. 15/18 Cincinnati in the championship game of the 2017 Frontier Communications American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship. The Mustangs used stifling defense, holding Cincinnati to 31 percent shooting (19-for-61) and 25 percent from three-point range (4-for-24). SMU also finished with six blocks in the game. SMU (30-4) had four players in double figures, led by Sterling Brown who finished with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The tournament's Most Outstanding Player Semi Ojeleye had 14 points and nine rebounds, Jarrey Foster had 13 points and Ben Moore added 12 points. SMU shot 50 percent from the field (26-for-52) and 53 percent (10-for-19) from three. A three-point game halfway through the first half quickly became 10 after a 7-0 run capped by a Ben Emelogu three. Cincinnati (29-5) would never get closer than six points the rest of the way and SMU extended the lead to as much as 17 in the second half. Cincinnati was led by Jarron Cumberland who finished with 14 points. Kyle Washington had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting but the rest of the team was 14-for-54. SMU earned a six seed in the NCAA Tournament in the East Region. The Mustangs will play their first round game Friday in Tulsa, Okla., against the winner of Providence-USC who will play in the First Four on Tuesday.
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