1. Nic Moore Returns- In his first game in the state of Illinois since transferring from Illinois State to SMU, Nic Moore put on a show. After a slow first half, Moore came out firing. He scored 20 points off three of five shooting from long range and an assortment of floaters and driving layups. He also had a number of assists, including a great interior pass to Ben Moore for the easy layup. Once again, Nic showed that when he is making his shots, SMU has a great chance to win.
2. Big Men Play Big- Yanick Moreira and Markus Kennedy dominated UIC in the paint and carried the load for the SMU offense down the stretch. Moreira came out hot and made the first three buckets of the game off a hook shot, a long jumper and a put-back dunk. After Moreira picked up two quick fouls, Kennedy came in and made a number of nice post moves for easy buckets. In the second half, both big men came up with numerous baskets to keep UIC out of reach. Overall, the two combined for 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting and made life difficult for the Flames on the boards. Ben Moore was his normal, reliable self with eight points on five shots.
3. Firing on All Cylinders- SMU's offense was hot from behind the arc, making five out of their ten long balls. In total, the team shot 54.2 percent on the night. Aside from a couple of stray shots when Nic Moore was testing his heat, the Mustangs did a better job in the shot selection category tonight, not forcing any difficult shots and being patient with the offense. On top of that, every Mustang who played tonight made at least one basket.
1. Lost on the Bench: With Crandall Head and Sterling Brown getting their first starts of the season in their home state tonight, Keith Frazier lost a lot of his minutes. He only attempted two shots, making one of two three pointers and did not see the court in the second half. Luckily, the team found a way to put points on the board without one of their most dangerous offensive options, but it did feel like if Frazier had gotten more playing time SMU might have had an easier time distancing themselves from UIC.
2. Foul Play- It seemed like SMU played good defense for most of the night, limiting UIC to 35 percent shooting on the night. But what kept the Flames in the game was their 21 free throw attempts, courtesy of sloppy play on the Mustangs' part. UIC hit 17 of their 21 attempts and would not have stood a chance even not given all these opportunities from the charity stripe. Every Mustang who played committed at least one foul on the night.
3. Out of the Loop- While many of the SMU big men had good games against UIC, Cannen Cunningham had a poor showing. He missed his only shot attempt and didn't do much on defense. Cunningham has struggled to find a consistent role off the bench this year.
3 Up, 3 Down
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