Semi Ojeleye scored 18 points and No. 25 SMU used a 21-2 run midway through the second half to turn a 40-31 deficit into a 52-42 lead as the Mustangs moved into sole possession of first place in the AAC with a 60-51 win over No. 11 Cincinnati on Sunday.
Sterling Brown added 13 points and 10 boards for the Mustangs, who landed their best win of the season and just their second top 50 win; the other is TCU at home.
This was a missed opportunity for the Bearcats, who were left out of the top 16 teams in Saturday’s bracket reveal. Despite a 22-3 record on the season, it’s hard to imagine the Bearcats being able to climb into the top 16 without this win. The Bearcats have just two top 50 wins, and there’s an argument to be made SMU actually has a better résumé. With the lack of depth in the AAC, neither team is going to have much of a chance to build on that.
The Bearcats got 15 points from Jacob Evans, but just three of them came in the second half. Troy Caupain finished 0-for-7 from the floor while Kyle Washington had just 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting.