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Defense falters for Bulls in loss at SMU

USF allows the Mustangs to shoot better than 50 percent from the field in dropping its fourth straight game.
USF's Jamir Chaplin, shown here during a game against Wyoming last month, scores a season-high-tying 17 points against SMU on Wednesday.
USF's Jamir Chaplin, shown here during a game against Wyoming last month, scores a season-high-tying 17 points against SMU on Wednesday. [ MARCO GARCIA | AP ]
Published Jan. 13

DALLAS — USF got off to a fast start Wednesday night against SMU but saw the Mustangs heat up in the second half to pull away, 77-65.

The Bulls (5-10, 0-3 AAC) posted their second-best shooting percentage (48.1) of the season, but they also allowed their second-highest opponent shooting percentage (50.9). The Mustangs (12-4, 3-1) went 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the second half, including making five straight at one point.

SMU also had a 20-2 advantage in fastbreak points against a normally strong USF defense.

Jamir Chaplin matched his season high of 17 points for the second straight game to lead the Bulls. Russel Tchewa added 14 and pulled down a team-high six rebounds, and Caleb Murphy scored 12 on 6-12 shooting.

USF led 11-2 after five minutes and led by nine once again with 5:30 left in the first half. SMU closed the half on a 9-2 run for a 37-33 halftime lead and never trailed in the second half.

Leading 57-51 with 9:58 left, the Mustangs went on a 12-point run to put the game out of reach. USF closed out the game on an 11-2 run, including nine points from Serrel Smith.

The Bulls return home after a two-game road trip to host UCF at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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