DALLAS -- SMU re-christened Moody Coliseum with a 74-65 upset of No. 17 Connecticut on Saturday.
Point guard Nic Moore led SMU with 20 points and guard Nick Russell scored 14 in the Mustangs' first game back in their home arena following $47 million in renovations.
The win was SMU's first over a ranked opponent since a win at No. 17 Purdue on Dec. 21, 2003. It was also SMU's first sellout since Texas Tech played at Moody Coliseum on Nov. 20, 2001.
SMU shot 47 percent and was 7 of 16 from 3-point range to pull away from UConn late in the second half.
Moore scored 15 in the first half, then Russell scored 11 in the second half.
"I thought we were lucky the first half. We made shots, but I thought we settled a little too much," said Larry Brown, SMU's Hall of Fame coach. "Nic kept us in early, and I got on Nick Russell. I thought he was thinking too much. I told him to think more about shooting the ball."
SMU (11-3, 1-1 in American Athletic Conference) extended its lead to double digits for the first time with 4:30 remaining when Russell finished off an alley-oop from Moore. The play got the sellout crowd of 7,166 on its feet.
UConn (11-3, 0-2) suffered its second loss in as many games on its Texas swing. The No. 17 Huskies lost at Houston 75-71 on Tuesday.
UConn shot 36.7 percent and was outrebounded by SMU 37-29.
"They were tougher tonight and they made the plays," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. "Every 50-50 ball they got. After their little run, we gave up three free-throw box-outs when they got the rebound. We're not good enough to do that
"I've been saying this the whole season and it's catching up with us now."
Guard Ryan Boatright led the Huskies with 15 points.
Guard Shabazz Napier, UConn's leading scorer with 16.3 points per game, was held to two points in the first half and finished with 12.
SMU took a 45-41 lead with 13:25 to play when freshman guard Keith Frazier hit a 3-pointer and followed with a layup on a baseline drive.
SMU's lead grew to 47-41 on a short jumper by forward Ben Moore with 11:30 left.
The Mustangs went up by nine, 53-44, on Russell's corner 3-pointer with 7:06 showing.
Saturday's game was also the unveiling of a fully renovated Moody Coliseum, which originally opened in 1956. Upgrades included improved seating and concourses, a plethora of high-tech video boards and a row of luxury suites.
"I'm just happy for them (the players) that they can play in an environment like this," Brown said. "We're in a great league, got a great school, great city. I don't look at any other program and think they have any more than us."
Until Moody re-opened, the Mustangs played six home games at an arena owned and operated by a suburban school district.
"We've been waiting for this day. January 4th had been on our calendar," Russell said. "We were all excited, all jacked up."
SMU won the opening tip but missed three chances at scoring the first basket in the new Moody. That honor went to UConn forward DeAndre Daniels, who scored on a baseline jumper 90 seconds in.
The teams traded blows in the first half until SMU surged to a 30-24 lead on the strength of three 3-pointers by Moore. UConn then went on a 9-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Boatright, to take a 33-32 lead into halftime.