Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich knew exactly how to handle this one. "We start talking about our next game right away," he said after Sunday night's 73-49 loss to SMU in Dallas. "One of those burn-the-tape games. Burn the tape and move on."

Hofstra (6-12) originally was supposed to play SMU on Dec. 7 in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, but the game was postponed when the Pride's flight to Dallas was canceled because of icy weather in North Texas.

"I don't know if we're going to play a better defensive team all year long," Mihalich said. "Hopefully we got something out of it . . . I'm not too fond of our demeanor out there."

Chris Jenkins had 14 points, Dion Nesmith 11 and Zeke Upshaw 10 for the Pride. Hofstra shot a season-low 33 percent (16-for-48) from the field and was outscored 42-6 in the paint.

Cannen Cunningham had 14 points, including several dunks, as the Mustangs (14-4) -- led by former Knicks coach Larry Brown -- earned their second victory in two days. "I just was happy with the way we played," Brown said. "I don't worry about back-to-back [games] . . . The kids do it in AAU. I think they're all right."

Cunningham had three powerful dunks in the first 61/2 minutes after halftime, with the last in that span giving the Mustangs a 46-24 lead. "Cannen was great. There were some highlight plays," Brown said. "I like the way we shared the ball."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Nick Russell threw an alley-oop pass to the 6-10 Cunningham for the first dunk, then to Markus Kennedy for another slam. Nic Moore made an alley-oop pass for another dunk by Cunningham, whose last slam in that spurt was after a more traditional pass from Russell.

"I didn't have to do much but jump," Cunningham said. "Both Nics are good passers."

Kennedy had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Mustangs, who already are within one of matching last season's win total in Hall of Fame coach Brown's SMU debut. -- AP