How it happened: SMU struggled early in somewhat of a sloppy first half. Eight minutes in, the Mustangs were shooting just over 27 percent from the floor. But the Mustangs picked it up, especially from three-point land. Keith Frazier, Nic Moore, Ryan Manuel and Nick Russell all connected on shots from beyond the arc. But UTPA knocked in some threes of its own and cut SMU's lead to six at halftime. The Mustangs, however, started to pull away in the second half to win 82-56 behind Markus Kennedy, who came off the bench and led the team with 17 points. Ryan Manuel also had a strong overall effort and finished the game with 14 points.
What it means: It wasn't pretty, but SMU came away with a win it was supposed to get. The Mustangs still need to polish up in a lot of areas if they're going to be one of the top teams in the American Athletic Conference. SMU is now 9-2 on the season. The Ponies have won every game they initially penciled in as W's and played Arkansas and Virginia close. We'll find much more about just how good this team is over the next four games.
Side Note: SMU suffered a big loss midway through the second half when Keith Frazier went down with an ankle injury. Remember, Frazier hurt his ankle earlier this year and caused him to miss some time. When he initially went down, it looked like he was in excruciating pain but was able to get to the locker room under his own power. Still, Frazier was limping badly and probably won't be available for SMU's next game.
Next: It's going to be a quick turnaround for SMU. The Mustangs will travel to Wyoming in a pivotal road contest before conference play begins. Wyoming is 7-3 this season with losses coming to Colorado, Ohio State and most recently Denver.
Rapid Reaction: SMU Overpowers UTPA
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