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Stanford Cardinal Basketball 2015-16: Stanford suffers first loss of season to SMU Mustangs

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After starting the season with two wins the Stanford Cardinal dropped their first game of the season.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal (2-1, Pac-12) suffered their first loss of the 2015-2016 season Thursday night, falling to the SMU Mustangs (2-0, American) 85-70.

2015 AAC Player of the Year Nic Moore and Ben Moore both posted 17 points for Southern Methodist, who won their first game against the Cardinal in a series that hadn't seen a matchup for over 17 years. Markus Kennedy added 14 points in just 17 minutes as a starter, while Jordan Tolbert chipped in 10 off the bench.

Despite taking a tough first defeat in front of the home crowd, the Cardinal had some bright spots, especially in the play of returning Marcus Allen. Allen, one of the Stanford's most important contributors in their 2015 NIT run, logged a team-high 18 points off the bench in his season debut. Returning from a stress reaction in his foot, he converted four of his 8 shots and put up 13 attempts from the free throw line.

Dorian Pickens, who scored 20 points last game, cooled off significantly. The sophomore guard struggled to find his groove against the Mustangs, finishing with just 6 points on 1/7 shooting. Rosco Allen finished with 14 points, Reid Travis added 12, and Michael Humphrey came just four rebounds shy from earming his third straight double-double.

SMU thrived in the early going, specifically off of Stanford's poor ball security. Scoring 17 points off of 10 Stanford first half turnovers, the Mustangs were able to take a 39-31 lead into the second half of action. Though the Cardinal held an early 16-14 lead with 11:57 to go in the opening period, the reigning American champions went on a 17-3 run over a 5:34 minute span and controlled the lead for the rest of the contest. Ben Moore went on a tear on this run, scoring 11 of his 18 points.

After freshman Jerry Foster hit from long range midway through the second half, SMU extended their lead to 20 (58-38) as Stanford failed to find an answer for the team's consistent scoring. The Mustangs finished shooting the ball just over 55%, while also controlling the points in the paint battle 46-34.

The Cardinal will next look to get back on the victory board Sunday, going on the road for a non-conference game against St. Mary's.