GARLAND, Texas -- Nic Moore scored 20 points, hitting four 3-point attempts, and SMU limited visiting Rhode Island to 30.8-percent shooting as the Mustangs dominated the Rams 89-58 on Monday night at the Curtis Cullwell Center.
SMU improved to 2-0, having opened last Friday with a 69-61 victory over TCU.Moore is one of four first-year-eligible transfers who have bolstered coach Larry Brown's roster this season. He arrived at SMU a year ago from Illinois State along with Redbirds coach Tim Jankovich, who became a Brown assistant and SMU's head coach-in-waiting.Rhode Island (1-1) was led by freshman guard E.C. Matthews with 15 points. Junior forward Gilvydas Biruta, a transfer from Rutgers, scored 9 points and fouled out with 7:53 to play.SMU led by as many as 15 in the first half and owned a 35-point advantage with four minutes to play.The Rams shot 2-for-15 on 3-pointers, making them 6-for-36 from behind the arc in two games.Through two games, SMU has held its opponents to 32.7-percent shooting.SMU led by as many as 15 in the first half and owned a 35-point advantage with four minutes to play.Last season SMU was 29th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (39.5). That was the first time SMU had kept opponents below 40 percent for a season since 1961-62.Rhode Island won only eight games last season, but one of the victories was a 72-50 pasting of SMU at home.SMU will play its six home non-conference games at the Culwell Center while its campus home, Moody Coliseum, is undergoing $47 million in renovations. The Mustangs are scheduled to make their return to Moody on Jan. 4 with their home debut in the American Athletic Conference against Connecticut.Before Monday night's game, SMU confirmed that 6-7 guard Jalen Jones, who led SMU last season as a sophomore in scoring and rebounding, has been granted his release and won't play for the Mustangs this season. Jones started all 32 games last season, averaging 32.4 minutes, 14.0 points and 7.7 rebounds. After Jones wasn't with the team during SMU's season opener last Friday, Brown said Jones was looking for guarantees to start, play 35 minutes a game and to play small forward.