1. Nic Moore- SMU's point guard had his coming out party as he created offense for the team all game and played really hard on the defensive end. He finished with 20 points, seven assists and shot a perfect 4-for-4 from deep while only turning the ball over three times. Moore was 7-of-9 from the field and guarded Rhode Island's Mike Powell who had 0 points on 0-for-4 shooting for the night. The coaching staff had been singing Moore's praises, and he showed why tonight.
2. The Bench- The Mustangs reserves outscored the Rhode Island bench 17-5 in the first half and 42-33 for the game. Ben Moore had 13 points and nine rebounds while Markus Kennedy also added nine points of his own. The team struggled to score in the first half and the bench was able to provide a much-needed spark. Although he turned the ball over a few times, Keith Frazier added seven points and two steals in 17 minutes.
3. Defense- SMU won the turnover battle 20-14 and held Rhode Island to just 30 percent shooting from the field and had eight steals. The Rams were able to get to the free throw line a lot, but SMU's big men did a good job protecting the paint for the most part with nine total blocks. The Mustangs also did a terrific job closing out on shooters and held the Rams to just 2-for-15 from deep.
1. Free Throws- SMU shot only 45 percent from the free throw line for the game. The Mustangs were able to draw a lot of fouls and finish a couple nice and-1 plays, but their struggles from the charity stripe hurt them early on. Kennedy and Ben Moore were each an abysmal 1-for-6 from the line for the night. They are going to have to get easier points if they want to beat tougher opponents later in the season.
2. Fouls- The Mustangs kept bailing Rhode Island out with fouls on the defensive end. The Rams shot 12 in the first half and 12 more in the second. Rhode Island struggled on offense for most of the night, but SMU allowed them to outscore them 16 to 11 from the line. Rhode Island was in the bonus for the last eight minutes of the game and took advantage, but by that time the Mustangs had built a comfortable lead.
3. Three-point shooting- The Mustangs were just 1-for-5 in the first half from deep and finished 6-for 13-for the game. But most of that was due to Nic Moore. The team did a terrific job scoring and finishing in the paint, but only Moore was able to hit three's consistently. It wasn't a problem in the blowout, but SMU is going to have to find some shooting to beat better opponents later in the season. Frazier was just 1-for-4 from deep, and Nick Russell missed both his attempts.
3 Up, 3 Down
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