SMU beat Tulane, 66-52, on the road Wednesday to win its fifth straight game. In fact, the Mustangs (15-4, 6-1) have won 13 of their last 14 and are 6-1 in the American.
“It was a great road win,” SMU forward Markus Kennedy said on Ferrall on the Bench. “We’ve been talking about all year that we got to win games on the road. That’s the most important thing. That’s what kind of hurt us a lot last year – dropping a couple road games. When we get on the road, we just got to focus more than we (do) at home.”
Kennedy did that against Tulane, finishing with 14 points off the bench, while Nic Moore had 18 points and seven assists.
“Nic is always good,” Kennedy said. “He leads the guards, and I lead the bigs and we just try to meet in the middle. When I’m out of it, he talks me back, and when he’s out of it, I talk him back. We look to each other to keep the team rolling. I got to give it up to the bench. Cannen (Cunningham) played great. He came in and gave us a huge boost off the bench.”
Indeed, Cunningham had 10 rebounds in 19 minutes. In fact, all three bench players – Cunningham, Kennedy and Ben Emelogu – played 19 minutes. They combined for 21 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks.
“It was funny,” Kennedy said. “When I look at the stat sheet, I seen that all three of us played 19 minutes. But everybody on our team can start on any team in the conference. So for us to have a bench to go to with me coming off the bench and Cannen and Ben and the players we have on the court – our starting five – we’re tough to beat. We’re a tough team. We are a band of brothers. We say ‘Family’ after every huddle. (Head coach Larry Brown) always preaches we got to be a family. We got to stick together through the rough times. That’s what we practice on. That’s what we do. We really take pride in being a family and all being brothers and being together. So when we get in tough, it’s nothing for us.”
SMU started the season 2-3 with losses to Gonzaga, Indiana and Arkansas – all in November. Aside from a Jan. 3 loss at Cincinnati, however, the Mustangs have been perfect ever since. Three of their four losses have come on the road, two came against ranked teams and three were by six points.
The Mustangs host Houston (7-11, 0-7) on CBS Sports Network this Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. SMU is 11-1 at home this season.
“That’s one thing we all said: We don’t lose two in a row, and we never lose at home,” Kennedy said. “We got to protect our home court. Moody (Coliseum) is a great place to play – probably one of the best gyms to play in in the country. But we’re not done yet. We got to finish out the rest of conference. We got to keep playing hard, keep on playing the right way and everything will take care of itself.”